Stargazing In Wyoming
There is nothing quite like looking up and seeing the universe so close it seems as though you can reach out and touch it. In Wyoming, the night sky makes you feel small in the best possible way. With little light pollution and unobstructed views, the stars in the Cowboy State will seem just within reach. From viewing meteor showers to seeing the Milky Way, your celestial experience in Wyoming awaits
Viewing the night sky is all about where you are. And luckily for visitors of Wyoming, there aren’t many better places to see the night sky in all of its wonder. Wyoming has low light polution, high elevation and low humidity which are all key factors to perfect stargazing conditions.
Light Pollution – Light pollution is the first thing you should consider when stargazing. The darker the sky, the better you’ll see stars and celestial objects. Using a light pollution map is the best way to determine how to get away from city lights.
Elevation – The higher in elevation you get, the better you’ll see the stars. As luck would have it, Wyoming’s average elevation is about 6,700 ft. To find more specific areas of higher elevation, the use of a topographical map is encouraged.
Amenities – If being close to things like restrooms and campgrounds are important, consider visiting on of Wyoming’s national parks or one of our may excellent state parks. Most of these sites are away from light pollution and have amenities that you need.
Not every night is going to be ideal for stargazing, but there are some things to keep in mind that will make the experience better. It’s best to view the night sky when it’s far past sunset on a clear night when the moon is least present. Going out when the moon is the in a smaller state will keep stars from getting washed out by moonlight.
Stargazing doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, but there are some items you may want to have with you that will make your experience much more memorable. Here are some things you may want to bring with you:
- Flashlight With a Red Light – A flashlight is a must when walking around in the dark, but getting one with red light will make it easier for your eyes to adjust from the light to see and the dark skies above.
- Binoculars – Many people believe that a telescope is needed to truly see the stars well, but a simple pair of binoculars will provide much more detail of celestial objects than the naked eye.
- Star Chart – When looking up at the night sky, naturally you’ll start trying to pick out the more popular constellations. Getting a star chart will help you find the ones you may not easily recognize.
- Apps – With today’s technology, everything has an app and stargazing is no exceptions. There are several great apps out there that can help you plan and enhance your stargazing experience. Starwalk, Google Sky Map, Stellarium, and Exoplanet are all fantastic resources.
- Telescope – While a telescope isn’t required for stargazing, even a cheap telescope will open whole new worlds. You’ll be able to see the moon in spectacular fashion, see the moons of Jupiter and even the rings of Saturn.
Crystal Lake, Curt Gowdy State Park.
Steam, Stars and Winter Soundscapes Tour (Xanterra, Yellowstone National Park)
So much of our experiencing something depends on our sight. This tour will turn on other senses for a unique adventure. While the snowcoaches are heated, sightseeing stops, where passengers leave the coach, necessitate warm footwear and warm layered clothing. Includes complimentary travel mug and hot chocolate.
Family Stargazing in Grand Teton National Park (Four Seasons, Jacskon Hole)
Enjoy an evening of stargazing in Grand Teton National Park. Travel in the comfort of a Suburban to a prime-star viewing location. Enjoy wine, cheese, desserts and hot beverages while vieweing the spectacular sunset. As the sun sets, begin to view galaxies, comets, nebula and double stars, planets, the moon and more. Our state-of-the-art Schmitt-Casgranian 11-inch telescope will offer awe-inspiring views.
Devils Tower Experiences
America’s National Park Service sites contain some of the purest night skies in the world. To celebrate and share the beauty of Wyoming’s night skies, Devils Tower National Monument will host a series of star parties October through December. Telescopes will be provided although you may bring your own. All programs will be free of charge and may be canceled due to inclement weather.
To learn more about these event and Devils Tower National Monument itself, visit www.nps.gov/deto or www.facebook.com/Devils-Tower-National-Monument-Official-NPS-Site or twitter.com@DevilsTowerNM or Instagram at #devilstowernps
Wyoming Stargazing Tours
The great folks at Wyoming Stargazing are a great resource for visitors looking up at the night sky. From nightly conditions to meteor showers, their site has all the information you might need. If you are in the Jackson area of the state get in touch with them for some great stargazing opportunities from real astronomers.