Hey western Montana star gazers, explore the planets, nebulas, star clusters and distant galaxies!

We'll keep our fingers crossed for clear nights at the University of Montana's Blue Mountain Observatory for free observing nights, open to the public. These events are family-friendly, with children welcome. But you are asked to make free ticket reservations for everyone in your group, which you can do here, as these events tend to fill to capacity.

Public observing nights are scheduled for June 23, July 14 and 21, August 25 and September 15 and 22. There will also be two special limited attendance nights, July 22 and August 26. For those evenings only, there is a $20 admission fee.

The UM observatory is located at the top of Blue Mountain. With an elevation of 6,300 feet and viewing beginning an hour after sunset, it is recommended you bring some warmer clothing in which to layer, as things may cool down quite a bit. A flashlight for the short walk back to the parking area is suggested, also.

Again, here's to clear skies and a wonderful night of looking to the heavens for you!

DB