Open Sassafras Mountain Observation Tower on select nights for stargazing.

Open Sassafras Mountain Observation Tower on select nights for stargazing.

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Tyler Chapman started this petition to south carolina department of natural resources

 
Despite South Carolina's abundance of public lands and parks, there are very few options for night time viewing of major celestial events (meteor showers, comets, etc). As the state has grown in population, viewing of the night sky has become more difficult due to increased light pollution. Many people have looked to public lands farther out from the cities to see astronomical events, however most public lands appropriate for viewing are closed to access from dusk till dawn.


One such place which, thanks to the addition of recent improvements, is ideally suitable for stargazing is the summit of Sassafras Mountain. Easily accessible by car, and offering a 365-degree panorama that is nearly devoid of light pollution, this peak has a breathtaking view during the day and would offer an unparalleled view of the night sky after the sun has set. 

We realize that much has been invested into Sassafras Mountain and the Department of Natural Resources is very protective of sites like it. We are not proposing to open Sassafras Mountain and potentially other sites every night, however we think a program to provide supervised access to appropriate state owned properties on nights especially important to celestial observations (i.e. the annual Perseids and Leonid meteor showers) would provide a great service to the public and potentially provide for educational opportunities as well. 

We ask that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources develop a program for allowing controlled access to Sassafras Mountain and other state owned sites to allow them to be used by members of the public for celestial observations.
 
 

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