UM Hosts Free Blue Mountain Observatory Public Nights

July 10, 2014

MISSOULA – Explore planets, nebulae, star clusters and distant galaxies during three upcoming free public observing nights at the Blue Mountain Observatory. Children are welcome at the events.

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 406-243-4299 for weather and cancellation updates.

Public observing nights are scheduled Friday evenings on July 25, Aug. 22 and Sept. 19.

For more information on the observatory, directions and a map, visit http://cas.umt.edu/physics/Blue_Mountain_Observatory/.

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Contact: Diane Friend, lecturer, UM Department of Physics and Astronomy, 406-243-4299, diane.friend@umontana.edu.