Join Us for a Party with the Perseids

Join Us for a Party with the Perseids

Perseid Meteor Shower

Both town and county voted in our revised LDRs! We’re now one step closer to becoming a Dark Sky Certified community! Look for a future blog post to see what that means and what the next steps are.

But in the meantime, it’s time for a celebration!

Party with the Perseids!

When: Thursday, August 11th, 8pm – late
Where: Rendezvous Park (R-Park)

Rendezvous Land Conservancy and Wyoming Stargazing are teaming up this August to offer you an extraordinary free public event filled with great food, drinks, live music, games, and of course stargazing. Come on out to R-Park for some fun, family-friendly time and stick around for one of the best meteor showers of the year…the Perseids!

Pica’s will be providing chips, salsa, guacamole, quesadillas, and half-priced margaritas!

Elevated Grounds will be providing hot chocolate and coffee!

Snake River Brewery will be there too with their classic beers!

Elevated Grounds
Pica's Mexican Taqueria
Snake River Brewery

We’ll have Rob and Tasha to serenade you as the sun goes down and plenty of yard games to pass the time. As the stars come out we’ll have several telescopes set up around R-Park to show you the cloud bands of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and possibly even the polar ice caps of Mars. We’ll also show you incredible details on the waxing gibbous moon. Later on we’ll show you star clusters, nebulae, and of course a few galaxies. We should begin seeing the first meteors of the evening as the sky darkens at about 9pm. We’ll see more meteors as the evening progresses. And if you stick around until after the Moon sets at about 12:30am, then the real Perseid Meteor shower begins and it’s one of the best meteor showers of the year.

About This Year’s Perseid Meteor Shower

This year, even with the Moon, we should be able to see about 1 meteor/min. Most of them will appear to radiate from the NE part of the sky near the constellation Perseus, but others will appear in other parts of the sky. This meteor shower, like all meteor shows, is produced by the Earth moving through a debris field in space left there by a comet. In this case, it’s comet Swift-Tuttle that was discovered in 1862.

Please bring a lawn chair and/or blanket to help you enjoy the evening, the food, the drinks, the games, and the meteors!

No need to RSVP – Just show up and join in on the fun!

Orion and Comet Lovejoy by Mike Cavaroc Gets APOD

I recently took this photo of Orion and Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 in the night sky and shortly thereafter, was awarded Astronomy Photo Of the Day (APOD) run by NASA! Out of millions of photos submitted from around the world, this one was chosen and published relatively quickly, I’m assuming due to its timeliness. See the original post here: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150114.html

I took the image on the first clear night we had had in Jackson Hole in weeks. I was trying to get a close-up shot of the comet when I noticed its proximity to Orion. I zoomed out and noticed that the composition made it look like Orion was shooting Comet Lovejoy from his bow (his more widely-accepted shield had been put down temporarily for the sake of this photo). I began capturing many more images to stack together to create this image.

Visible in the image are nearly all of Orion’s wonders, including the Orion Nebula, Barnard’s Loop, the Horsehead Nebula, the Flame Nebula, and even the Rosette Nebula to the left, part of the Monoceros constellation.

Interested in learning how to capture an image like this? Read our Astrophotography on a Budget blog post to find out how!

Free Stargazing Has Moved to the Center for the Arts

We’re excited to announce that our free, public stargazing events have moved to the Center for the Arts located in downtown Jackson. This move allows us to reach more people thanks to a more convenient location to both locals and tourists, as well as receiving support from the Center for the Arts itself.

In addition, this move also helps us to educate people on the threats that light pollution pose, which you will be hearing about much more from us as Wyoming Stargazing takes a more active stance in helping Jackson reclaim its night skies. To see what’s at stake, you can watch a short film on the subject on this blog post.

We’ll be meeting on the south side of the building (facing Snow King) on the lawn for the following dates throughout the winter:

  • December: 12th and 26th
  • January: 9th and 23rd
  • February: 13th and 27th
  • March: 13th and 27th
  • April: 10th and 24th

Friday Astronomy Presentation

Come and find out why Jackson should build a public observatory!

University of Wyoming Astronomer and Director of the Jelm Mountain Observatory, Dr. Chip Kobulnicky, will present a program entitled:

“Wyoming’s Skies: A Gateway to Life, the Universe, and Everything”.

In this pictorial presentation, Dr.Chip Kobulnicky will describe how backyard enthusiasts
can contribute to modern astronomy research while bringing the excitement of real science to any hometown or school. Arguably the oldest of the sciences, astronomy is humanity’s quest to understand what exists in the universe, how it works, and how the universe affects life here on Earth. Remarkably, astronomy is also the most accessible of the sciences, especially here in Wyoming.

This presentation is part of the monthly Jackson Hole Astronomy Club meeting. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. No need to RSVP.

Total lunar eclipse tonight!

Well, late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Penumbra starts at 2:15 am tonight, totality begins at 4:25 am and ends at 5:25 am, and dawn will break before the moon is fully out of the earth’s shadow next morning!

This is the second “blood moon” of the four happening this year and next, approximately one occurring every six months. So if you miss this one, just catch the next one in the spring!

The moon really will turn red during totality, as seen from the above photos from last spring’s lunar eclipse. The reason is that Earth’s apparent size is so much bigger than the sun from the perspective of the moon, but our atmosphere refracts the sun’s light to the moon so that it appears like the moon is seeing every sunset on Earth at the same time! And we see that reflected sunset light here.

For those of you in and around Jackson, if you can, GO CAMPING TONIGHT ON SHADOW MOUNTAIN!!! The angle of the setting, blood-red moon from there will be such that it will appear over the saddle between the Grand and Middle Tetons.

Wyoming Stargazing will be at WILDScience this weekend!

Are you excited for Jackson Hole’s first ever science festival at the Center for the Arts, Oct. 3-5? Wyoming Stargazing will be there!

On Friday at 10 am, after the welcome presentation in the auditorium, Sam Singer will lead a round table activity on Kinesthetic Astronomy, where kids will learn about the phases of the moon by putting on T-shirts and pretending to be the sun, moon and Earth.

On Saturday at 1 pm, Sam Singer will give a presentation on general astronomy called “Extraordinary Wyoming Skies” aimed at families.

We should also be around all weekend with our solar telescopes to watch the sun in the middle of the day, and of course at Stilson parking lot on Friday night to watch the stars as we do every clear Friday night!

There’s so much to choose from! Or just come join us for all of it! Look for us in the Black Zone for Astronomy and don’t forget to check out the other awesome speakers and events going on that weekend. Science!!

Maintaining the Dark Skies of Jackson Hole

On Monday, April 28th at 6pm, local nature and wildlife photographer, Mike Cavaroc, will give a public presentation on the subject of light pollution and how it affects Jackson Hole. Specifics on the subject involve how it affects the region and local wildlife, how to implement affordable solutions, certification from the International Dark Sky Association and what that brings, as well as discussing Wyoming Stargazing’s goals of constructing a scientific observatory and planetarium in Jackson and what benefits to the community this would all entail. The presentation begins at 6pm in Side B of the Teton County Library Auditorium.

Refreshments will be provided beginning at 5:30pm through a generous sponsorship from Quizno’s. 

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Introducing the new Wyoming Stargazing Website

Moulton Barn at night

Welcome to the new website for Wyoming Stargazing! We’ve got an entirely new look and feel, and even a new logo. We’re now poised to bring you much more information and events and are even gearing up to take on the light pollution emitted from the Jackson Hole area, so expect lots more information and details in the near future. This is just the first step of many in steering toward our ultimate goals.

The website and logo were designed and created by Mike Cavaroc, who has also donated use of his night sky photography.

Welcome to the Official blog of Wyoming Stargazing

Wyoming Stargazing Logo

Explore the Extraordinary in the Ordinary!

We are very excited to introduce the new nonprofit organization Wyoming Stargazing. Based in Jackson Hole Wyoming we are dedicated to providing everyone with opportunities to explore the night sky. Check back here soon for updates about our programs and our latest projects. We’ll periodically let you know what we’ve been looking through our telescopes so that you can try to find those objects in the skies above your home. Until then, clear skies and explore the extraordinary in the ordinary!