The Northern Lights – Looking Up Episode #2

The Northern Lights – Looking Up Episode #2

This week’s episode of Looking Up we’re talking all about the Northern Lights. We’ll be discussing the science behind the Aurora, as well as the significance of the Northern Lights throughout history. Tune in and find out when you’ll be able to see this light show next.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Aurora borealis or are itching for more stunning photos, head on over to our Instagram and Facebook. Check out more of our amazing snapshots we’ve taken on stargazing programs in Jackson, Wyoming.

Looking Up – Episode #2 The Northern Lights

This week's episode of Looking Up is all about the Northern Lights!

Posted by Wyoming Stargazing on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Behind the Telescope – Our Work in Jackson, Wyoming

Curious about who we are and what we do? Here’s just a few of the awesome things we’re doing at Wyoming Stargazing in Jackson, Wyoming.

Wyoming Stargazing in Jackson, Wyoming

Curious about who we are and what we do? Here's just a few of the awesome things we're doing at Wyoming Stargazing in Jackson, Wyoming.Music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

Posted by Wyoming Stargazing on Friday, July 17, 2020

Music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

Looking Up – A new version of an old favorite

This week, we’re learning all about comets!

Wyoming Stargazing is excited to have a new version of a classic program for you! If you’ve been following Wyoming Stargazing for a while, you might remember our radio program called Looking Up that was featured on Jackson’s local radio station, KHOL.

We’ve taken the radio version of Looking Up, photos and videos from our own gallery and other reputable astronomy sources, and created a new visual experience!

This week’s episode is all about comets. Tune in every #throwbackthursday for our re-imagined episodes of Looking Up.

Looking Up- Comets

Wyoming Stargazing is excited to have a new version of a classic program for you! If you've been following Wyoming Stargazing for a while, you might remember our radio program called Looking Up that was featured on Jackson's local radio station, KHOL.We've taken the radio version of Looking Up, photos and videos from our own gallery and other reputable astronomy sources, and created a new visual experience.This week's episode is all about comets. Tune in every #throwbackthursday for our re-imagined episodes of Looking Up. Learn about about the science behind comets, their place throughout history, and some astronomical current events.

Posted by Wyoming Stargazing on Thursday, June 25, 2020
Learn about about the science behind comets, their place throughout history, and some astronomical current events

The World Above the Tetons | Speaker Series 2020

We are honored to introduce this week’s speaker – Kelly Lively. 

Idaho National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories. With roughly 5,000 scientists, engineers and support personnel, the lab also stands as one of Idaho’s largest employers. At INL’s three primary facility areas, researchers perform work in support of DOE’s mission to “discover the solutions to power and secure America’s future.” More specifically, INL is the center of nuclear energy research and development.

Kelly Lively is the Radioisotope Power Systems Department Manager at Idaho National Laboratory. She has served as the Department Manager since 2007; She also serves as the INL Project Manager for NASA Space Missions. Most recently, she managed the INL team to provide a Radioisotope Power System for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission; powering a land rover named Perseverance launching in July 2020, for an eight-month journey to Mars. She holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Idaho State University (1998).

INL works with other national labs and industry to enable deep-space, scientific exploration, including this summer’s launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Kelly’s primary work is managing a team of engineers and technicians to fuel, test and deliver Radioisotope Power Systems. These systems convert the heat generated by the decay of plutonium oxide fuel into electrical energy. Kelly will be presenting information on contributions by the Space Nuclear Power and Isotope Technologies Division, located at INL’s Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC).

Want to learn more about Radioisotope Power Systems, INL, and more of Kelly Lively’s incredible work? Don’t forget to register for The World Above the Tetons Speaker Series- happening this Wednesday 6/24 at 7PM (MT).

It’s Old Bill’s Time!

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!

“Your Next Trip? It’s Written in the Stars”

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…

100 Days Until Totality! 47 Days Left – How is the Town of Jackson Preparing?

This August, an unprecedented number of people will observe the Total Solar Eclipse. The last time the United States observed totality was on March 7, 1970, and it was only visible from a few states on the East Coast. Millions of people live in the path of totality of this year’s eclipse, and the entire population of the 48 continental states will observe a partial eclipse on August 21st. With so many people wanting to observe the eclipse, how are the towns in the path of totality preparing?

The Town of Jackson has been preparing tirelessly since 2015. The police and EMS are bringing in extra highway patrol officers and emergency services, and are keeping careful track of all of the large events happening in the valley. Through the hard work of the town’s Eclipse Event Coordinator, Jackson’s EMS services, and their teams and employees, the Town of Jackson has created www.tetoneclipse.com, a highly comprehensive website with important information for both locals and visitors. Wyoming Stargazing has been assisting the town in spreading awareness by holding free monthly presentations with Jackson’s EMS coordinator. To find out when and where the next presentation is, visit our Public Astronomy Programs page, and check out our calendar at the bottom.

Preparedness and awareness go hand in hand! The town of Jackson would like all of its residents to be aware of the number of guests joining us for the eclipse, and to welcome them for a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event. Local restaurants should consider stocking more food and beverages for eclipse week. Gas stations should make sure their tanks are full. Visitors and residents alike should have a back stock of food, water, and gasoline. The most important task, though, is to GET EXCITED! Some consider total solar eclipses the most beautiful celestial event visible with the naked eye!

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!

Dodging a Catastrophe at Shooting Star

Over the weekend we hosted a stargazing program at the Shooting Star Golf Club at Teton Village. What was expected to be a routine stargazing program for a large group nearly had a disastrous impact on our equipment.

Sam got underway running an indoor program to kickoff the night for the 60 or so people in attendance for stargazing just as I had come back in from putting on the final touches at the viewing area nearby. The indoor program was expected to take roughly 45 minutes or so to get people excited for the night sky as it got dark enough to view deep space objects. The crowd seemed generally receptive to the program, with plenty of Q&A, and after about an hour, we all headed outside to the driving range to see in person much of what they had just learned.

Sam and I both began aligning the two different scopes we had out and soon had people looking at the half-moon up close. By this time however, the temperature was beginning to drop a little too much to be comfortable for some people, despite the blankets we had out. After a quick glimpse of the moon, some chose to end the night there.

For those who stayed, we had a great look at Saturn next, but with the low expected to be in the mid-30s overnight, the night air was quickly approaching its target, which was too much for most people. Though blown away by seeing Saturn, the majority of people had left after seeing it. At this point, Sam and I both got our scopes aligned to the Ring Nebula which fascinated the people that were still out, but not even that was enough to entice people to stay out longer.

As the last people made their way from the driving range, we began our routine of systematically taking down the scopes and gear that was out. Sam began unplugging his scope while I began turning off the iPads that we use to let people browse the night sky digitally when they’re not looking through a scope. We were making our usual slow progress when a very unsettling sound brought our attention to the hole across the path: two sprinklers had just automatically turned on. "Uh-oh" was about all that was muttered before we ran to the most expensive gear out there to begin breaking it down. Even just a quick pass from one sprinkler would be enough to cause significant damage to our most expensive gear. We had no clue where the sprinklers were or how many were expected to go off, all we knew is we needed to get everything safe immediately. I was taking down our 20" scope, our pride and joy, faster than I ever had, knowing we were now engaged in a race against the automatic sprinkler system. There were two Shooting Star staffers with us as well, one helping to move things to safety, another frantically making calls asking why the sprinklers were on.

Of course we weren’t sure if the sprinklers at the driving range would even turn on, but seeing them across the path was enough warning. But then, on the driving range just a few dozen yards away, two sprinklers came on, just out of reach of us. They were coming, and all we knew was that our time was limited. By now I had the 20" mostly broken down and I wheeled it to safety to the path where there was a large dry section. On my way back, a sprinkler began spouting practically right where the 20" was. I immediately became soaked as I scrambled to get things out of the way: iPads; telescope gear; a battery for the scope that was still out on a table. In my own rushed pace I lost track of what the others were doing, but a few minutes later, all of us regrouped and were dripping with water from saving what we could in a safe(r) spot.

Appearing to be out of harm’s way, we evaluated what got wet and what was kept safe, and aside from one telescope battery, the things that got wet were simply chairs, tables, and blankets. Fortunately, our instincts helped us keep everything simply couldn’t get wet safe, and we were back up and running the next night after letting everything dry out in the sun. Earlier in the night Sam had remarked how much earlier it was than he was expecting to finish. That definitely worked in our favor that night.

AmazonSmile

Hello Fellow Supporters of Wyoming Stargazing!

Financially supporting Wyoming Stargazing just got even easier and free!

All you have to do is make all your future Amazon.com purchases from AmazonSmile.  It’s the same Amazon.com that you know and love, but each time you make a purchase from AmazonSmile, Amazon will give Wyoming Stargazing %0.5 of the total purchase amount.  I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it is adds up fast.  

Just click on the following link to get started with supporting Wyoming Stargazing though Smile.Amazon.com: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-3183809 

Thanks and Clear Skies!

Save Our Night Skies Campaign Kick-off Event

Preserving the Night Skies of Jackson HoleWyoming Stargazing is hosting a kick-off event for the Save Our Night Skies Campaign on Thursday, February 19th, beginning at 5:30pm at the Center for the Arts.  This event is part of a larger art show at the Center that is being co-sponsored by the Center of Wonder and Wyoming Stargazing. This Upyard Art Show will highlight the artwork of about a dozen local artists whose work depicts our Upyard, as opposed to our backyard, during the day time and night.  

We are also going to have several local artists, including preschool kids from the Children’s Learning Center and Carrie Wild, each paint a Dobsonian telescopes with either a 6″ and 8″ primary mirror.  Those fully-functional telescopes will be auctioned off with a silent auction during the Opening Night of the Upyard Art Show, also on Thursday, February 19th. The total auction price of each telescope will be split 50/50 between the artists and Wyoming Stargazing.

We’ll also have our Board Member Mike Cavaroc there to show and talk about his documentary film about the night skies over Jackson.  There will be a table with plenty of information about light pollution in Jackson and about how you can get involved with our efforts to reduce it.

After the telescope auction, as long as the weather cooperates, we’ll go outside for some stargazing.

The Center of Wonder and Wyoming Stargazing will be providing hors d’oeuvres and wine.  So, please join us for some food and drink, some amazing artwork, a chance to bid on a beautiful telescope, and to view the night sky through our new telescope with a 20″ primary mirror!  No need to RSVP.

2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Jackson Hole

If you haven’t already heard the word on the street, starting at about 10:16am directly above Jackson, Wyoming on Monday, August 21st 2017 we’re going to have a total solar eclipse. I know it’s still two and a half years away, but that hasn’t stopped people from all over the world from booking hotels in Jackson for that week. I’ve personally received inquiries from England, Belgium, and the Netherlands, not to mention another dozen or so from folks all over the US. So, if you’re planning on coming to Jackson for the eclipse book your hotel soon because they are filling up fast!

Although there are lost of places around the continental US from which to view the eclipse, Jackson is poised to be one of the best. I mean, come on, where else can you go to see a total solar eclipse with a bald eagle flying over head, bison grazing in the foreground, 13,000 ft peaks behind you, grizzly bear, moose, and elk frolicking off to the side, and the howl of a wolf in the distance. Well, maybe not all of those critters at the same moment, but you get the idea.

The charismatic mega fauna aside, seeing the total solar eclipse is really the once in a lifetime opportunity. To help you out, Wyoming Stargazing has set up a new page on our website with all the information you’ll need to keep track of. The URL for that page is:

http://www.wyomingstargazing.org/2017-solar-eclipse/

It’s under our Programs link in the main menu on the homepage.

We hope to see you in Jackson on August 2017!

Clear Skies,

Samuel