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.
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:
Short-Term Goals (3 years)
Long-Term Goals (10 years)
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.
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.
Wyoming Stargazing is well on its way to bringing our vision to fruition. Wyoming Stargazing has been contracted by Max Chapman, the owner and CEO of Brooks Lake Lodge and Snow King, to design observatories and planetariums for both of those locations. Check out the details below.
The Snow King Observatory and Planetarium is scheduled to be built on the summit of Snow King Mountain in the Summer of 2020. 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 are part of a larger Snow King Phase 2 Master Plan being designed by Jakub Galczynski and Esteam Architecture. The Town of Jackson gave the US Forest Service the go ahead to begin their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in September of 2017. That will include a public scooping process.
The Brooks Lake Lodge Observatory designed by Jakub Galczynski is scheduled to be built in the Summer of 2018. The Observatory will be a log cabin structure to match the exiting buildings at Brooks Lake Lodge. The Observatory will be a roll-off roof facility that contains a 0.5-meter research grade telescope. Visitors will be able to view nearly real time projected images from the telescope in a large viewing room. Of course, they'll also be able to put their eyes right up to the telescope and see light from galaxies millions or even billions of miles away!