Southwest Montana Astronomical Society

Amateur Astronomy Under The Big Sky
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  • SMAS Winter meeting 2015

    Posted on November 12th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    We a rapidly closing out 2015.  Our November and December club meetings are combined and we will meet the first Friday in December for our club potluck and elections at the Bozeman Public Library small meeting room.

    At our October club meeting it was unanimously voted on to keep the same board members. Of course it is an open election.  If anyone would also like to throw their name in for a spot on the board  please let us know prior to 11/25/15 so we can let the members know.  An email will be going out to club members with specific information on the potluck.

  • SMAS October 2015 meeting

    Posted on October 26th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Join us on Friday October 30, 2015 starting at 7:00 p.m. at Bozeman Firestation #3, located at the regional park off of Davis.

    We have several items on our agenda including discussion of Near Earth Objects (NEO) such as “Spooky.”

    “The big asteroid that will zoom past Earth on Halloween may actually be a comet, NASA researchers say.

    The roughly 1,300-foot-wide (400 meters) asteroid 2015 TB145, which some astronomers have dubbed “Spooky,” will cruise within 300,000 miles (480,000 kilometers) of Earth on Halloween (Oct. 31) — just 1.3 times the average distance between our planet and the moon.

    Though 2015 TB145 poses no threat on this pass, the flyby will mark the closest encounter with such a big space rock until August 2027, when the 2,600-foot-wide (800 m) 1999 AN10 comes within 1 Earth-moon distance (about 238,000 miles, or 385,000 km), NASA officials said.

    Astronomers plan to beam radio waves at 2015 TB145 on Halloween using a 110-foot-wide (34 m) antenna at NASA’s Deep Space Network facility in Goldstone, California, then collect the reflected signals with the GreenBank Telescope in West Virginia and Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory.

    Such work should reveal key details about the space rock’s size, shape, surface features and other characteristics — including, perhaps, its true identity.

    “The asteroid’s orbit is very oblong with a high inclination to below the plane of the solar system,” Lance Benner, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

    “Such a unique orbit, along with its high encounter velocity — about 35 kilometers or 22 miles per second — raises the question of whether it may be some type of comet,” added Benner, who leads NASA’s asteroid radar research program. “If so, then this would be the first time that the Goldstone radar has imaged a comet from such a close distance.”

    Asteroid 2015 TB145 will be too faint to spot on Halloween with the naked eye, but anyone who’s interested can get a look at the object online, thanks to live telescope views provided by the Slooh Community Observatory and the Virtual Telescope Project.

    The Virtual Telescope Project will air a webcast at 8 p.m. EDT on Oct. 30 (0000 GMT on Oct. 31), while Slooh’s broadcast begins at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) on Oct. 31.”

  • White House Astronomy Night: A Celebration of Science, Technology, and Space

    Posted on October 9th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

      Join the Southwest Montana Astronomical Society as we celebrate the White House Astronomy Night.  Astronomy clubs around the nation will be heading to the lawn with telescopes to view the night sky.  We will be at the Bozeman Public Library front lawn Monday October 19, 2015 starting at 6:30 p.m.  Starting off with a short talk “What’s up in our night sky”, followed by viewing through telescopes.

    To find out more about the White House Astronomy Night check out this link.

    The Bozeman Public Library is located at 626 East Main Street, Bozeman.

  • 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.