Celebrate Astronomy Day with Grand Teton & JH Astronomy Club

Lagoon Nebula
August 6, 2010
Grand Teton National Park will join with the Jackson Hole Astronomy Club to celebrate Grand Teton Astronomy Day on Sunday, August 15. Several family-oriented activities are planned, offering park visitors and local residents an opportunity to learn about star gazing, meteor showers, sunspots, star clusters, galaxies and much more. The special “Astronomy under the Tetons” day will begin at 2 p.m. at the Colter Bay Visitor Center in Grand Teton and end with late-night star gazing session on the shore of Jackson Lake.

To highlight Grand Teton Astronomy Day, solar-filtered telescopes will be available to view sunspots and other solar features from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. near the Colter Bay Visitor Center. Throughout the afternoon, exhibits and information tables will also be set up, providing fun and interesting information to children and adults alike.

At 3 p.m., Bob Hoyle, former professor of astronomy and park ranger naturalist, will present a one-hour program at the Colter Bay Amphitheater titled, “Why is the Sky Blue: the physics of color in the natural world.” At 9 p.m., Ranger Hoyle will present a PowerPoint program at the Colter Bay Amphitheater titled, “Watchers of the Sky.” This educational program focuses on the cultural history of star-gazing and brings this field of study into the modern-day science of astronomy; the program also includes incredible images of stars and other astronomical objects.

As a finale, several large telescopes will be set up at 10 p.m. along the shore of Colter Bay for participants to view stars, galaxies, nebulae and other celestial objects. Anyone planning to attend the evening program and telescope observation session should dress warmly as evening temperatures at Colter Bay can be quite chilly, even in August.

For those who would like to learn more about “Astronomy under the Tetons,” call either the Colter Bay Visitor Center at 307.739.3594 or Jackson Hole Astronomy Club Program Coordinator Walt Farmer at 307.733.2173. Information is also available on the Astronomy Club’s website at http://www.jhastronomy.com/ or Walt Farmer’s website at www.theastrocowboy.com/Astro/astro.htm.