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Celebrate Astronomy Day with Grand Teton & JH Astronomy Club

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Date: August 16, 2012
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3431

Grand Teton National Park will join with the Jackson Hole Astronomy Club to celebrate Grand Teton Astronomy Day on Sunday, August 19. Several family-oriented activities are planned, offering park visitors and local residents an opportunity to learn about star gazing, sunspots, star clusters, galaxies and much more. Events will begin at 2 p.m. at the Colter Bay Visitor Center in Grand Teton and end with a late-night star gazing session at Colter Bay on the shore of Jackson Lake.

To highlight Grand Teton Astronomy Day, specially filtered telescopes will be available to safely view sunspots and other solar features from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on the back deck of 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 9 p.m., Bob Hoyle, former professor of astronomy and park ranger naturalist will present a program at the Colter Bay Amphitheater titled, "Watchers of the Sky." This educational program focuses on the cultural history of astronomy and how early sky watching evolved into the sciences of astronomy and astrophysics.

As a finale, several large telescopes will be set up from 10 p.m. to midnight 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 Day, call 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 www.jhastronomy.com or on Walt Farmer's website at www.theastrocowboy.com/Astro/astro.htm.

Did You Know?

Beaver Dick Leigh and his family.

Did you know that Jenny and Leigh Lakes are named for the fur trapper “Beaver” Dick Leigh and his wife Jenny (not pictured)? Beaver Dick and Jenny assisted the Hayden party that explored the region in 1872. This couple impressed the explorers to the extent that they named the lakes in their honor.