The Blue Mountain Observatory will be holding an open house after sunset this Friday, July 23.

"We have a 16 inch telescope in a nice dark-sky location and we are able to take a look at all kinds of things, whatever is up," said  University of Montana Astronomy and Mathematics Professor Diane Friend. "Right now, there are a couple planets up: we can see Mars and Saturn. We are able to see nebulae, star-birth regions, star-death regions, distant galaxies, star clusters... a whole host of things."

Friend says that it isn't getting really good and dark until after 11 this time of year. Astronomists will also be on hand to give more insight into the night sky.

"We'll do star talks where we talk about constellations, stars and other deep sky objects that you can see with the naked eye or with binoculars," Friend said. "We'll also talk a little bit about star-lore and answer any questions people might have about what's happening in astronomy today."

There will be two more opportunities for the public to access the Blue Mountain Observatory this summer, on August 22 and September 19.

Diane Friend: