Southwest Montana Astronomical Society

Amateur Astronomy Under The Big Sky
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  • September SMAS Club meeting

    Posted on September 24th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Join us on Friday September 25, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. for our next SMAS club meeting.  We will be meeting at Bozeman Fire station #3. (

    We will be viewing some of the Apollo Lunar Samples.  Six missions went to the Moon and brought back 800 pounds of samples, including rocks and soil, from the highlands to the mares.  We’ll also discuss the Super lunar eclipse (which happens on Sunday evening).  Followed by viewing the moon through telescopes.



  • International Observe the Moon Night – September 19th

    Posted on September 14th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Join SMAS on Saturday September 19th from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Emily Dickinson Elementary School playground for an evening of activities and observing the Moon.  This is the 5th year that SMAS has participated in the global event.

    In 2012, students from Emily Dickinson were chosen as the winners of the NASA contest to name the twin probes from the GRAIL mission.  The school was given a telescope so students could continue to observe our dark skies and the Moon.

    Students in the 4th and 5th grade will also be treated to an up close look at Apollo lunar samples.  During the 6 Apollo missions, 800 pounds of lunar dirt and rocks were brought back.

  • The Great American Eclipse 2017

    Posted on August 21st, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

     Two years to go! On the morning of August 21st 2017 the Great American Eclipse will take place — where will you be? Bozeman will only experience a partial eclipse with 95% coverage at approximately 11:35 a.m. If you want to see/experience totality you will need to head south to Idaho or Wyoming.

    Here is a link to the interactive NASA eclipse map to check out your location:…/SEgo…/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html
    Need 2017 eclipse swag? Check out this out:

  • Astronomy Lecture

    Posted on August 16th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Save the date!  August 20, 2015. 7:00 p.m. at the Hagar Auditorium.

    “From the Big Bang to Black Holes: Time, the Universe, and Everything”
    Speaker: Janna Levin

    Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University
    Author of “How the Universe Got Its Spots” and “A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines”
    And a link to Janna’s TEDx talk:
    Janna Levin: The sound the universe makes | Talk Video |
    We think of space as a silent place. But physicist Janna Levin says the universe has a soundtrack — a sonic composition that records some of the most dramatic events in outer space. (Black holes, for instance, bang on spacetime like a drum.) An accessible and mind-expanding soundwalk through the universe.


  • International Observe the Moon Night

    Posted on August 13th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is an annual world-wide public engagement program that encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of our Moon and its connection to NASA planetary science and exploration. Everyone on Earth is invited to join the celebration by attending the SMAS InOMN event.  Watch for more info to come!

  • Pluto-Palooza

    Posted on July 11th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Join us Wednesday July 15, 2015 at the Emerson’s Lunch on the Lawn Series.  11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to celebrate the Pluto Flyby by the New Horizon’s mission.  NASA’s first mission to Pluto, almost 10 years in the making and over 3 billion miles traveled.

    (Emerson Cultural Center, East Olive & 4th, Bozeman)

  • Global SUN-day

    Posted on July 1st, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Join us at the Bozeman Public Library front lawn to safely view the sun on Global SUN-day July 5th.  Here is a picture of us at the 20th annual Astro Faire on June 27th. 

  • Aurora pictures

    Posted on June 30th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    On Monday June 22, 2015 the aurora lit up the skies. The two pictures were sent in by SMAS club members. The first was taken at 37,000 on a plane trip to Greenland by Dr. Joe Shaw. The other was taken out at the Cottontail Observatory by Joe Witherspoon.  Thanks for sharing your pictures.  Also, take a look at the article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle about the 6/22 event

    Photo by Joe Shaw 6/22/2015













    Photo by Joe Witherspoon 6/22/2-15






  • Astro Faire

    Posted on June 1st, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Saturday June 27th!  Save the date for the 20th annual astronomy fun day.

    Planning meeting will be Friday June 5th, 6-8 p.m in the small conference room at the Bozeman Public Library (626 East Main Street).

    Disk with actual samples brought back from the Moon by Apollo astronauts

    ASTRO FAIRE will include solar viewing, solar education, solar activities, lunar education, lunar activities, stomp rockets, and Apollo Moon Rocks!

  • NASA needs your help!

    Posted on April 23rd, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flies by Pluto this July, the spacecraft’s high-resolution cameras will spot many new landforms on the dwarf planet’s unexplored surface.  There could be mountains, craters, rilles, valleys and, of course, the unknown.

    They are all going to need names—and NASA wants you to help.

    The public has until Friday, April 24 to help name new features on Pluto and its moons.  The naming campaign was announced in March, and now it is being extended because of widespread interest.

    Follow this link for  more information: Help name features on Pluto

    Click on picture to enlarge