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Moon Clouds

Where to Stargaze in Montana

There are lots of places in Montana where the sky is dark and the stargazing is easy. What a great way to explore Montana!

Star Gazing Room / Planatarium
University of Montana, Missoula 

At public shows enjoy programs on constellations, planets, currently visible deep-sky objects, and exciting upcoming celestial events - our presenters design live shows to dive deeper into the cosmos and foster a greater understanding of our universe. Our shows are always live, our planetarium presenters are passionate astronomers with active research activities.  You might hear about the star lore of different cultures, discoveries in solar physics, planetary exploration, the search for exoplanets, galaxies and cosmology, and recent space science mission discoveries. Each show is unique.

Blue Mountain Observatory
Summer Public Shows

Physics and Astronomy Program,
University of Montana, Missoula 

Join UM astronomers and Western Montana Astronomical Association (WMAA) members at the Blue Mountain Observatory. In addition to our 16-inch telescope, volunteer astronomers and student staff will have a variety of scopes set up outside the dome and will be happy to discuss any questions you may have about astronomical instrumentation. They are available to talk about what you are seeing through the telescopes, discuss current discoveries, point out constellations, share star stories from different cultures, and demonstrate how to find interesting celestial objects with the naked eye or a pair of binoculars. It's fun to bring binoculars if you have them.


Montana After Dark
Best Places to see the Milky Way and the Northern Lights!

Montana Office of Tourism

There's no denying that Montana is jam-packed with enough to see and do to keep you busy for days on end, but the fun doesn't have to stop when the sun sets. It's one of the better states for observing the night sky as well! Its northern location, clear and clean air, and relative lack of light pollution allow the stars to shine bright across the state. And, if you keep your eyes peeled, you might be able to spot a rare phenomena that you can't observe everywhere-- like the Northern lights and the Miky Way.

Milky Way.jfif

Beyond the Big Sky
Public Observing Nights

Montana Learning Center

For one weekend a month from June through August, MLC will open its observatories to the public at sunset. Each evening will start with a presentation from one of MLC’s astronomy experts, after which you’ll have the opportunity to use your newfound knowledge to better appreciate the night skies as we gaze through MLC’s state-of-the art telescopes. 

Each evening’s presentation will be different. Members of MLC’s staff and volunteers from the Helena Astronomical Society will be on hand to operate the telescopes and answer questions in the observatories.

Night Sky with Stars

2023 Astronomical Calendar

Montana's Trail to the Stars

Central Montana, Southeast Montana, Missouri River Country

Experience a different kind of nightlife in eastern Montana, where we look up at some of the darkest skies and brightest stars in the lower 48.

With remote destinations free of light pollution and millions of acres of public land, you're bound to see more stars, planets and even the Northern Lights in Big Sky Country.

Montana's Trail to the Stars spans the eastern region of Montana and includes more than 45 locations, all ideal for stargazing. Use our map below to explore and learn more about each location.

Trail to the Stars.jpg

Montana's Trail to the Stars

Central Montana, Southeast Montana, Missouri River Country

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