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UM News
May 22, 2013

MISSOULA – Explore planets, nebulae, star clusters and distant galaxies during eight upcoming free public observing nights at the Blue Mountain Observatory. The events are family-friendly, and children are welcome.

The observatory, located atop Blue Mountain at an elevation of 6,300 feet, is operated by the University of Montana.

Astronomers will be on hand at all events to talk about what’s being viewed through the telescopes, point out constellations, show attendees how to find interesting celestial objects with the naked eye or a pair of binoculars and discuss recent astronomical discoveries.

Observing begins about an hour after sunset, and organizers recommend bringing warm clothes for cool evenings and a flashlight for the walk from the observatory to the parking lot.

Viewing nights will be canceled if the sky is cloudy or thunderstorms threaten. Before heading to the observatory, call 406-243-5179 for weather and cancellation updates.

Public observing nights are scheduled for Friday June 7 and 14, Saturday, June 29, and Friday July 12, Aug. 2, 9 and 30, and Sept. 6.

For more information on the observatory, directions and a map, visit



Local, Western Montana


Contact: Diane Friend, lecturer, UM Department of Physics and Astronomy, 406-243-4299,