Take in the sun this fall at Bays Mountain Park

Matthew Lane • Sep 7, 2018 at 11:30 AM

KINGSPORT — Bays Mountain Park invites you to come visit the planetarium this fall and travel back to the beginning of time to experience the birth of our sun.

Not literally of course. But rather through a new show at the planetarium.


Beginning this month at Bays Mountain Park, the main planetarium feature will be “Sunstruck” — a NASA-funded program about our sun, how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it and how its energy will one day fade away.

The 40-minute long show is followed by a brief tour of our current night sky.

The alternate planetarium show for September and October will be “Appalachian Skies — Fall.”

In this live presentation, you’ll be able to learn what constellations and planets are easily visible in our current night sky. Bring your binoculars to the program for some deep-sky exploration.

“Sunstruck” will be shown at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the weekends and at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. “Appalachian Skies — Fall” will be shown only on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets for planetarium shows are $5 per person. Children ages 5 and younger receive free admission with a paying adult.


The park will continue its solar viewing program — Sunwatch — through the month of October. The events are held each clear Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the dam. Witness the sun up close and in detail. If you get to see a sunspot, you’ll observe a dark patch on the sun’s photosphere that will probably be at least the size of the Earth.

StarWatch — the fall evening observing sessions — will also start up in October. This is an outdoor program that allows you to enjoy the splendor of the night sky at the observatories. If the weather does not cooperate, the park will hold an alternate activity in the planetarium theater.

Observing sessions are free to the public and are held each Saturday night in October and November. They start at 7:30 p.m. on October 6 and 13; at 7 p.m. on October 20, 27 and November 3; and at 6 p.m. on November 10, 17 and 24.

For more information on any of these events, visit baysmountain.com or call (423) 229-9447.