Night Sky Guide & Gear
Viewing Wyoming’s beautiful night sky is nothing short of stunning. To make sure your experience is even better; we’ve put together some tips for you to follow as you lift your eyes to the heavens.
Location, Location, Location – Like in real estate, viewing the night sky is all about location. You will want to get yourself as high in elevation as you can and as far away from city lights as possible. As luck would have it for visitors to Wyoming, the states average elevation is around 6,700 feet above sea level which is plenty high enough to see through earth’s atmosphere and into space. As the least populated state in the country (only 6 people per square mile), getting away from city lights is just a short drive no matter where you are. To find a spot to stargaze near you, click here.
Timing – 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.
- Going out when the moon is the least present will keep stars from getting washed out by moonlight.
- Summer nights make stargazing slightly tougher due to increased humidity, but it’s not something you should worry about too much.
Gear – 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 blight 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. This is a great way to impress your friends and family!
- 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 needed 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.