Snow King Observatory and Planetarium Origins

How It All Came Together

The Snow King Observatory and Planetarium (SKOP) originated with Wyoming Stargazing’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Samuel Singer. After nearly a year of leading weekly astronomy programs at the Kelly Campus of the Teton Science Schools in 2005-2006, Samuel was trail running when he saw Snow King Mountain off in the distance and thought that it would be an ideal location for a world-class public observatory. That idea stuck with him until 2013 when he completed his PhD in Education, returned to Jackson, and started Wyoming Stargazing. Dr. Singer soon met regional architect, Jakub Galczynski at a “Chance Meeting” hosted by Silicon Couloir. Together the two poured over ideas and designs for an observatory as grand as the Tetons.

Eventually, they met Max Chapman, Owner and CEO of Snow King Mountain, who pursued the idea of an observatory and planetarium as part of the Snow King Phase 2 Master Development Plan. Thanks to Mr. Chapman and many others, after more than seven years from the original back of the envelope sketches the Snow King Observatory and Planetarium is set to open on the summit of Snow King Mountain on June 1st 2024.

Galczynski’s meticulous and aesthetic designs have resulted in a beautiful and iconic structure that is North America’s 1st Ski Resort Observatory and Planetarium.

The Visionary

Dr. Samuel Singer

Samuel grew up exploring the high desert in Yerington, Nevada, which is where he first fell in love with the night sky. Study for a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy took him to Hampshire College in Amherst Massachusetts. Samuel built a couple Dobsonian telescopes and helped to establish a small observatory at Hampshire College as part of his bachelor?s degree. While at Hampshire, the deciduous forests of the east coast, led Samuel to discover his love for outdoor science education. He earned a Masters in Natural Science?Environment and Natural Resources by way of the Teton Science Schools and the University of Wyoming. Samuel built a second small observatory for the Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole during his masters program. He has been recognized by NASA as a volunteer Solar System Ambassador, as well as by the IGES and NASA in their Top Stars program for an astronomy lesson plan he wrote. In 2013, Samuel completed his doctorate degree in Science Education from the University of Wyoming.

The Architect

Jakub Galczynski

Jakub Galczynski is a Designer working from Ketchum, Idaho which bookends the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. He spent over eight years living in Jackson, Wyoming. During this time Jakub worked for various Architecture teams and spent his time off in the mountains. Jakub is passionate about preserving various aspects of the environment and community. He has dedicated much of his life to supporting Wyoming Stargazing?s effort to develop an observatory for Jackson, Wyoming. His first meetings with Wyoming Stargazing date back to August 2014. He is currently the Design Lead and Project Manager at Snow King Mountain Observatory, in partnership with Farmer Payne Architects.

Construction Process

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