The mission of Wyoming Stargazing is to educate and inspire through Wyoming’s extraordinary skies.
From our own personal experience, we know that the study and practice of astronomy has the potential to inspire and motivate learners to explore science and the arts. We further believe that the “wow factor” of astronomy is one of the factors behind that increased enthusiasm for learning. We think that by offering opportunities to learn about astronomy, to learn how to use telescopes and other astronomical tools, as well as to learn how to build telescopes, people will develop confidence and ownership of their learning.
We intend to reach out to both the many millions of visitors who come through Jackson Hole every year, as well as to local residents. We are particularly interested in promoting nighttime family programming and in assisting our local school districts in promoting scientific literacy. We intend to provide engaging, entertaining, and educational programs that build on the already extraordinary outdoor programs that exist in Jackson Hole. We hope that tourists leave our programs with a stronger sense of what makes Jackson Hole an amazing place; we hope that local residents will look up more often to enjoy the incredible resource we have above our heads; we hope that we can build awareness around the problems associated with light pollution; we hope that we can light a spark for students who might not know that they have any interest in science.
Our Core Values
At Wyoming Stargazing we share a set of common values that guide everything we do as an organization. Whether it’s a stargazing program at night, solar astronomy during the day, or an indoor astronomy presentation we:
- love what we do
- share our knowledge of the cosmic perspective of the Universe
- inspire people to learn more about the Universe
- ensure that our guests have a comfortable, enjoyable, and educational experience
- promote sustainable business practices and well-being.
Short-Term Goals (3 years)
- To continue to provide educational outreach opportunities to Jackson Hole residents and visitors through public stargazing and solar astronomy programs
- To support local educators by developing and implementing astronomy curriculum
- To offer educational materials and presentations concerning light pollution, its effects, and its mitigation in Jackson Hole
- To raise funds for a digital planetarium projector in order to increase our program offerings
- To provide support and services to private organizations in order to bring observatories and planetariums to Jackson Hole
Long-Term Goals (10 years)
- To provide education outreach opportunities in astronomy to Jackson Hole residents and visitors
- To work towards Dark Sky Certification for Jackson, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks
- To establish an observatory and planetarium in Jackson Hole that will:
- Provide year-round, daytime and nighttime programming opportunities for families and individuals
- Establish a multi-use creative lab space for scientific, educational, and artistic programs
- Increase the time that visitors stay in Jackson Hole
- Create numerous new jobs for our community
- Assist surrounding public and private schools in bolstering scientific literacy programs
- Represent two new extraordinary reasons for thinking of Jackson Hole as unique
The New Exterior Lighting Standard!
We worked for over a year with the town of Jackson, Wyoming and Teton County, Wyoming to incorporate more effective lighting practices into our exterior lighting standards. We finally made it happen! Check out the recently revised Land Development Regulations for Exterior Lighting: Section 5.3.1. (pages 215-219) for Jackson, Wyoming and Teton County.
Who We Are
Wyoming Stargazing is a 501(c)3 educational organization based in Jackson Wyoming that is dedicated to educating and inspiring though Wyoming’s extraordinary skies. We facilitate public and private stargazing programs as well as other astronomy presentations in Jackson Hole and the surrounding area. Wyoming Stargazing was founded by Jackson Hole resident, Dr. Samuel Singer. Samuel received his PhD in Science Education from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He founded the organization as a way to further his passion for helping others “explore the extraordinary in the ordinary.” After building two telescopes and establishing a small astronomical observatory at Hampshire College as part of his bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy, Samuel went on to be recognized by NASA for an astronomy lesson plan he wrote and to build a second small observatory for the Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, where he now lives.
Our Vision: A Unique Public Observatory and Planetarium in Jackson Hole
Wyoming Stargazing is well on its way to bringing our vision to fruition. Wyoming Stargazing is collaborating with Snow King Mountain to design an observatory and planetarium for the summit of the mountain.
The Snow King Observatory and Planetarium will hopefully be built on the summit of Snow King Mountain in the summer of 2021. If implemented as designed, both the Observatory and Planetarium will have a modern look and feel to them. The Observatory will have a 20′ AstroHaven dome and a 1.0-meter PlaneWave telescope. The Planetarium will have a 10-meter dome with roughly 55 seats and a state of the art digital projection system from one of the leaders in planetarium design. The Observatory and Planetarium, designed by Jakub Galczynski and Esteam Architecture, are part of a larger Snow King Phase 2 Master Plan. The Town of Jackson is currently reviewing the proposed plan with community input. The US Forest Service will hopefully begin their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) soon.