UM’s Blue Mountain Observatory to Host Free Public Star-Gazing Events

May 20, 2016

MISSOULA – Explore planets, nebulae, star clusters and distant galaxies during seven upcoming free observing nights at the University of Montana’s Blue Mountain Observatory.

Public observing nights this summer are scheduled for the following Fridays: June 3, July 1 and 29, Aug. 5 and 26, and Sept. 2 and 23. The events are family-friendly and children are welcome. Attendees are asked to reserve a free ticket for each person in their group via Eventbrite at  

The observatory, located atop Blue Mountain at an elevation of 6,300 feet, is operated by UM. Astronomers will be on hand at all events to discuss 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 short walk to the observatory. To ensure the open house nights remain safe and pleasurable for all, smoking and alcohol are prohibited.

A link to Eventbrite, a map, directions to the observatory and complete observing information is available on the Blue Mountain Observatory website at Viewing nights will be canceled if the sky is cloudy or fire or thunderstorms threaten visibility. Check the Public Observing Information page on the website for important information about cancellation announcements and other frequently asked questions.  

For additional information call Diane Friend, UM physics and astronomy lecturer, at 406-243-4299 or email


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