There are less then two weeks left in the Old Bill’s fundraising period. Wyoming Stargazing needs your support in order for us to continue our Save Our Night Skies Campaign to reduce light pollution, to launch our Science Speaker Series, and to offer all the FREE public astronomy programming we facilitate in Jackson Hole. If you’ve attended one of our events please consider making a contribution that will get matched through Old Bill’s. Click here to make a donation now!
Wyoming Stargazing was featured in a NY Times article today about stargazing in the western hemisphere. Astrotourism is a rapidly growing industry and Wyoming Stargazing is honored to be a big part of sharing the Cosmos with the public. Read more…
Jackson, WY, August 15, 2017 – Partial fire restrictions will be going into effect for Teton County tomorrow, August 16th. The restrictions are based in part on the current high fire danger and predictions of continued warm and dry weather. Other significant factors include increased visitation to the area during the upcoming total solar eclipse and current regional and national fire activity.
While portions of the valley have experienced recent rain, the prevalence of heavy grass growth this spring and summer, along with the predicted increase in human activity on private and public lands during the days before and after the August 21steclipse, have prompted Teton County to go into fire restrictions.
“Even with the recent rains,” noted Interim Chief Mike Moyer, “grasses dry quickly and ignite easily.” Parked cars with hot exhaust systems and the use of camp fires are two main concerns for wildland fire starts. “The combination of the dry grasses, increased eclipse visitation to the area, and the fact that regional and national fire resources are stretched thin, all make it necessary to exercise caution,” Moyer continued. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center has recorded over 73 unattended campfires so far this summer.
Fire officials ask the public to take the fire danger seriously and obey the restrictions in place. Fireworks are prohibited in Teton County at all times of the year. During this restriction, there can be no pile burning in Teton County. Camp fires are allowed only in established fire rings in established camp grounds. The use of listed home fire pits and bowls are permitted so long as used with a screen spark arrester having holes no larger than ¼ inch opening and with a hose with running water and/or hand tools. A cleared area of at least ten foot radius is required for branding activities and the use of acetylene or electric arc cutting torches. For a complete set of restriction rules, go to www.tetonwyo.org/fire.
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, Bureau of Land Management High Desert District, the National Elk Refuge, and Sublette Counties will also begin fire restrictions this week.
By Kathryn Brackenridge
By Kathryn Brackenridge
Top of the mornin’ from the path of totality! Just days before the the moon totally takes over the land of the Teton sun, we will be rolling out a little local love profiling some of the people behind eclipse planning and prep.
Kicking off the first of five valued members of a vast collective team, one of the youngest and brightest stars in this small Wyoming galaxy.
Name: Ceejay Kilgore
Hometown: Dermott, Arkansas
Living Where In the Area: Moose, WY Park Housing
Job/Title: Public Affairs Intern 2017 Grand Teton National Park & Student Conservation Association
How Long: SCA for Four Years, Grand Teton NP – 3 months
When do you leave: August 25, 2017
Where to next: Back to school University of Arkansas at Pine Bluffs, Final Semester – Class of 2017
Best Pre-Eclipse Moment: Listening to elders sharing their previous eclipse experience
Worst Pre-Eclipse Moment: Don’t have one
Weirdest Pre-Eclipse Moment: I had someone call the eclipse line and they got upset that they were not allowed to claim a parking spot until 6:00 am.
Where will you watch totality: Gros Ventre Road at the Information Tent
If you could use one word to describe what you think the Total Solar Eclipse will be like, what would it be? Distinct
Thank you Ceejay. Your service since our May community-wide prep/celebration event with GTNP and agency partners, all the way to the finish (totality) line is truly valued. Teton County & the Town of Jackson are lucky to have you.
By Kathryn Brackenridge
MOOSE, WY-Grand Teton National Park managers expect August 21, 2017–the day of the Total Solar Eclipse Across America–to be the busiest single day in the history of the park. Visitors to the park on eclipse day can ensure a successful viewing experience by developing a plan and heeding a few simple guidelines. Complete eclipse viewing information can be found in a special edition newspaper available in park visitor centers and entrance stations, and by visiting www.nps.gov/grandteton and clicking the eclipse banner.
Visitors are invited to view the eclipse from the center path of totality along the Gros Ventre Road, which will be the largest eclipse viewing area in the park. The road will be one-way traffic eastbound from its junction with U.S. Highway 26/89/191 to the community of Kelly, with parking allowed in the left lane. Portable toilets will be located along the road, as well as park staff.
Rangers and astronomers will provide telescopes and interpretive programs at four designated eclipse viewing areas including the Gros Ventre Campground Amphitheater, Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center parking area, Jackson Lake Lodge back lawn, and behind the Colter Bay Visitor Center.
Due to limited parking available at the Gros Ventre Amphitheater, parking passes are required. One hundred free passes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis Saturday, August 19 from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose and the Colter Bay Visitor Center starting at 8:00 a.m. Campers at the Gros Ventre Campground and visitors parking along the Gros Ventre Road are invited to join the program by walking to the amphitheater.
The eclipse will be visible throughout the park with the duration of totality ranging from 2 minutes 19 seconds near the park’s southern boundary to just a few seconds along the park’s northern boundary. No matter where visitors view the eclipse, they should be prepared with ample food, water, eclipse glasses, sunscreen, and other necessary items for the day as little to no infrastructure exists in most locations. Visitors should pack out all trash and recyclables and heed the following guidelines as they make their eclipse day plans:
Expect heavy congestion, traffic gridlock, and long delays. Allow ample time to arrive at your eclipse viewing location and consider staying in place afterward until traffic thins,
Have water, food, and vehicle fuel for the day. Bring a minimum of 2 quarts of water per person,
No roadside parking will be allowed on U.S. Highway 26/89/191, Teton Park Road, or Moose-Wilson Road,
Eclipse parking begins at 6:00 a.m. park-wide. Overnight parking or camping in roadside pullouts, turnouts, or parking lots is not allowed,
Prevent human-caused wildfires. Charcoal burning and campfires are allowed only at designated campgrounds and picnic areas within metal fire grates. Stoves and grills that burn contained fuel sources such as liquid petroleum gasesare allowed on hardened surfaces if attended at all times, and
Additional portable toilets will be located throughout the park.
Several special eclipse and astronomy programs are planned in the park this weekend, Friday, August 18 through Sunday, August 20.
Please visit the park’s website or the special eclipse newspaper for more information.
By Kathryn Brackenridge