For Students

Lookout Observatory offers UNC Asheville students opportunities to gain hands-on experience in astronomy and public outreach, right in our own backyard.

Astronomy Coursework

UNC Asheville’s Department of Physics and Astronomy offers introductory astronomy electives for students of all backgrounds as well as an Astronomy Minor curriculum for students interested in a more rigorous formal introduction to a wide range of topics in astrophysics. Advanced students use the telescopes at Lookout Observatory for independent research and group projects.  Our students have used the 14″ refractor to detect exoplanet transits, map the locations of star formation in other galaxies, and measure the periods of variable stars.

For more information about the astronomy curriculum and undergraduate research opportunities at UNC Asheville, please visit: https://astrophysics.wp.unca.edu/

Observatory Docents

Many of our undergraduates are employed part-time as docents at the observatory. These experienced and enthusiastic students operate the telescopes during public stargazes and school visits and communicate with thousands of interested members of the public each year.  Opportunities to join our docent cohort are advertised annually, and interested students who have completed at least one astronomy course at UNC Asheville are encouraged to apply.