The National Elk Refuge is partnering with the Jackson-based Wyoming Stargazing organization to offer a free evening of night sky viewing in the parking lot of the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center on Saturday, July 14. The evening program, scheduled from 9:30-11:00 pm, allows guests to view the wonders of the night sky while learning about the importance of dark sky conservation.
The family-friendly activity offers a unique and interesting way to enjoy another aspect of our valley’s spectacular scenery. The informal evening program will focus on stars, clusters, nebulae, planets, and galaxies. Visibility on Saturday will be aided by the waxing crescent phase of the moon.
Wyoming Stargazers will bring a 10″ Dobsonian telescope and several iPads with the StarWalk app. Additionally, attendees will have an opportunity to use Universe2go goggles, or virtual reality glasses that project the sky in real time. The googles work as an augmented reality planetarium, using mirrors and a top-loading compartment for a smartphone to let the app know what part of the night sky someone is looking at and project the same section of a star map into the viewer.
The Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center is conveniently located within Jackson’s city limits at 532 N. Cache Street. A recorded naturalist phone line at (307) 201-5433 will give a program status in case cancellation due to inclement weather is necessary.