Who We Are
We make the Universe come alive!
Wyoming Stargazing is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Jackson Wyoming that excels at making the often difficult to understand concepts of astronomy accessible to everyone. We offer public and private stargazing programs, solar astronomy programs, planetarium programs, as well as other indoor astronomy presentations. You’ll leave our programs with a new understanding of the Universe and a sense of how you are connected to everything in the Cosmos. Don’t forget to look up!
The mission of Wyoming Stargazing is to educate and inspire through Wyoming’s extraordinary skies and the Universe beyond.
From our own personal experience, we know that learning about astronomy has a “wow factor” that can inspire and motivate learners of all ages to explore their world. We think of astronomy as a “gateway science” for lifelong curiosity, learning, and exploration of all areas of knowledge. We’ve learned that by offering opportunities to learn about astronomy, to learn how to use telescopes, as well as to learn how to build telescopes, people will develop confidence and ownership of their learning. When we unlock an individual’s potential the sky is not the limit!
We 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 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; and we hope that we can light a spark for learners of all ages 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, a solar astronomy program during the day, a planetarium program, or an indoor astronomy presentation we share our passion for:
- Our connection with the Universe
- Scientific thinking
- Lifelong learning
- To continue to provide educational outreach opportunities to Jackson Hole residents and visitors through public stargazing, solar astronomy programs, planetarium program, and our science speaker series
- 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 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 and Teton County to incorporate more dark sky friendly 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.
Our Vision: A Unique Observatory and Planetarium in Jackson Hole
Wyoming Stargazing is well on its way to bringing our vision to fruition. Wyoming Stargazing has a shared vision with Snow King Mountain Resort to establish an observatory and planetarium on the summit of the mountain. The Observatory and Planetarium, designed by Jakub Galczynski and FarmerPayne Architects, are part of a larger Snow King Phase 2 Master Plan, which The Town of Jackson recently approved. The United States Forest Service (USFS) has also issued their Final Record of Decision approving the development.
Facility and Construction Updates
Construction of the Observatory and Planetarium is planned to begin on the summit of Snow King Mountain in the summer of 2022. The Observatory will have a 24′ AstroHaven dome and a telescope with a 1.0-meter mirror built by PlaneWave Instruments. This will be one of the largest state-of-the-art telescopes in the world dedicated primarily to public outreach. The planetarium will have an 8-meter dome with roughly 30 seats and a state of the art digital projection system from one of the leaders in planetarium design. There will also be a theatre/classroom space and a gallery with interactive exhibits. Wyoming Stargazing hopes to use this facility to reach our goal of impacting 1 million students through in-person and virtual programming by the year 2030.