July 27, 2016
Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393
MOOSE, WY —Grand Teton National Park will host special interpretive and informative programs this weekend at Colter Bay. On Friday July 29, Professor Robert VanGundy from the University of Virginia's College at Wise will present about climate change at 9 p.m. at the Colter Bay Amphitheater. Park rangers and the Jackson Hole Astronomy Club will celebrate Astronomy Day on Saturday, July 30, with numerous family-oriented activities and educational opportunities throughout the day and night. All programs are free and open to the public.
Professor VanGundy's program, "Climate: Where's it Been, Where's it Going, and How do We Know," will encompass the science behind climate change. The program will begin at 9:00 p.m. Friday at the Colter Bay Amphitheater.
Events for Astronomy Day will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday July 30 at the Colter Bay Visitor Center and end with a late-night star gazing session at Colter Bay on the shore of Jackson Lake. Throughout the day, astronomy-themed videos will be shown in the Colter Bay Visitor Center Auditorium. Additionally, special telescopes will be available to safely view sunspots and other solar features from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the back deck of the Colter Bay Visitor Center. Telescope viewing and instruction will be led by Professor VanGundy as well as the Jackson Hole Astronomy Club.
Robert Hoyle, park ranger and former professor of astronomy, will present an evening program at the Colter Bay Amphitheater titled, "Watchers of the Sky: A Cultural History of Astronomy" at 9 p.m. Saturday. This presentation will highlight 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 11:30 p.m. along the shore of Colter Bay near the amphitheater for participants to view Saturn, Mars, star clusters, nebulae and other objects of the deep sky. This introduction to the constellations of summer as well as American Indian sky stories will be co-sponsored by the National Park Service and the Jackson Hole Astronomy Club.
Anyone planning to attend the evening program and telescope observation session should dress warmly as evening temperatures at Colter Bay may be chilly. For more information about these special programs, please contact the Colter Bay Visitor Center at 307.739.3594.