RYAN HENNESSY Owner / Astronomer
Ryan’s passion for the night sky began with childhood trips to the Palomar Observatory in his hometown of San Diego. Fascinated by the interactions of galaxies and the idea of an expanding universe, Ryan went on to study physics at Carleton College where he was able to work with the historic Goodsell Observatory. A year spent studying at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, Scotland confirmed his love of cosmology and led him to the University of Chicago’s graduate program in Astronomy and Astrophysics. While at Chicago, he helped build the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Array, a group of state-of-the-art radio telescopes that studied the afterglow of the Big Bang and helped define critical parameters such as the expansion rate and density of the universe. His research also took him to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he worked with x-ray satellite images of galaxy clusters. In 2011, Ryan moved to Jackson Hole for its clear skies and began establishing one-of-a-kind stargazing programs for the valley’s many guests, culminating in of the formation of Teton Skies in 2015. When not stargazing, he is most likely to be found skiing the area’s rugged mountains or on the rugby pitch with his teammates, the Jackson Hole Moose
ZEENATH KHAN Astronomer
Zeenath first started to explore astronomy her freshman year at Carleton College after taking a course in cosmology. Since then she has conducted research on the evolution of the Local Group Galaxies at Carleton and on the modeling of neutron stars at the Dr. Karl Remeis Observatory in Bamberg, Germany. Zeenath has worked extensively in public outreach at the Goodsell Observatory where she hosted open houses and middle school astronomy programs, through which she developed a love of science education and community volunteerism. She also enjoys capturing the beauty of celestial objects, especially nebulae, through astrophotography. In her free time, Zeenath enjoys hiking, reading, drawing, and volunteering at the Humane Society.
CARL THOMAS Astronomer
Carl’s love of astronomy and star gazing began at a young age under clear skies in the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia. That interest continued at Carleton college where he studied physics and chemistry. During his undergraduate years, Carl developed a particular fascination with cosmology and the intersection of relativity and quantum physics. He was lucky to have the opportunity to perform research with professor Joel Weisberg, calculating the distance to a binary pulsar system. This project has important implications for tests of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Carl has also had internships which focused on quantum communication technology and the detection of dark matter. Beyond astronomy, he is passionate about science education and policy and hopes to use his education to help bridge the gap between the scientific community and the public. Carl’s other interests include history, philosophy and art as well as a great love of hiking and camping.
DAVID BOWERS Photographer
David Bowers is a photographer, mountain guide, and professional ski patroller who has lived in Jackson Hole for 30 years. Known for his gorgeous photographs of the world’s wildest and most remote landscapes, he specializes in capturing uncommon perspectives. When not behind the camera, he also works as a professional mountaineering guide and the Training Coordinator for Jackson Hole Ski Patrol where he teaches a variety of subjects including high angle rescue, medical refreshers, and patient extrication and transport. You can see more of David’s images at www.davidbowersphotography.com
MELANIE ROSS Astronomer
Melanie grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine where as a girl she learned to love the ocean, forests and night sky. She carried these interests to Colby College where she graduated with a degree in Physics. After discovering the college’s observatory during an Astrophysics class, Melanie founded and grew the Colby Space Club to allow open access to the facility. Engaging students, faculty and members of the community with guest lecturers, planetarium shows and community stargazing events realized a desire to share a love of astronomy, physics and science with everyone. She is specifically interested in exoplanet science, but also enjoys the history, lore and myths of constellations and astronomy’s colorful history. Melanie moved to Jackson Hole for the open spaces and open skies. She enjoys all the outdoors have to offer here, especially skiing (both nordic and alpine), mountain biking, hiking and camping.
CLAYTON CANTRALL Astronomer
Clayton is currently a graduate student in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He completed his undergraduate degree in the Earth and Planetary Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he researched volcanic activity on Jupiter’s moon, Io, through astronomic observations with the Keck Telescope in Hawaii. This opportunity sparked his interest in using instrumentation and remote sensing to understand the planets and moons of our Solar System. His current research focuses on developing analytical methods to more thoroughly describe and track the state of Earth’s atmosphere through satellite observations. Clayton also enjoys science outreach, which includes star-gazing and night-sky talks, as well as, participation in environmental awareness programs through the University of Colorado. During his free time, Clayton likes to do anything that gets him into the mountains or ocean. His favorite activities are snowboarding, surfing, and hiking.