Southwest Montana Astronomical Society

Amateur Astronomy Under The Big Sky
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  • 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).

    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


  • No Place Like Home

    Posted on April 6th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    NASA Celebrates Earth Day with #NoPlaceLikeHome Event

    This Earth Day, April 22, NASA is asking people around the world to share pictures and videos on social media that show there is no place like home – planet Earth.

    NASA’s Earth Day #NoPlaceLikeHome project seeks to get the public involved in highlighting the great diversity of the places, landscapes and ecosystems of our home planet. Participants are invited to post photos and videos that answer a simple question: What is your favorite place on Earth?

    Images can be shared using the hashtag #NoPlaceLikeHome on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr. Leading up to Earth Day, NASA will participate by posting its own images and videos.

    NASA’s mission includes exploring beyond Earth and using the vantage point of space to improve our understanding of the most complex planet we’ve seen yet. The agency’s Earth-observing satellites, airborne research and field campaigns are designed to observe our planet’s dynamic systems – oceans, ice sheets, forests and atmosphere – and improve our ability to understand how our planet is changing and could change.

    For more information on the #NoPlaceLikeHome project, visit:

  • Messier Marathon and Hubble’s 25th Anniversary

    Posted on March 28th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    SMAS has planned two events for April.

    April 18th is a member only Messier Marathon.  We will be sending out emails via the Night Sky Network SMAS members list. Information on Messier Marathons can be found on the Messier tab on the top ribbon of this page.  Want to join SMAS?  Follow the information on the top tab for “Join SMAS”.

    On April 25th starting at 7:00 p.m. in the large conference room at the Bozeman Public Library we will have the Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Celebration. 


  • March 2015 SMAS meeting

    Posted on March 20th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Join SMAS for our March meeting on Friday March 27th, starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Bozeman Fire Station #3, see map in post below.  Our program will be presented by Joe Witherspoon of the Cottontail Observatory and SMAS Vice President.  Building on our skills that we learned in February using a sky map and planisphere, we will learn how to navigate the night sky.  This is in preparation for the April 18th Messier Marathon (for SMAS club members only) event.

    A look ahead: April events.  Saturday April 18th – Members only Messier Marathon event.  Saturday April 25th – Come to the Bozeman Public Library to celebrate 25 years of Hubble. History and current information on the Hubble Space Telescope.

  • Where do satellites go when they die?

    Posted on March 18th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    On February 23rd, a Chinese satellites orbit degraded and it came to a flaming end over Montana.  Which raises the question, what happens to satellites after they are no longer viable?  Since there was an Aurora alert that night, several observers were out and documented the fireball.  We aren’t always as lucky to see satellites end in such a spectacular way.  So, where do old satellites go to die? Countries and commercial ventures have been putting spacecraft in orbit around Earth since the late 1950s. There must be a lot of space junk out there. So what happens to them when they no longer work? Find out more at:

  • February SMAS Meeting

    Posted on February 16th, 2015 Lynn Powers No comments

    Is it February already!  Time is going by fast.  I spent the past week in Chicago for a Heliophysics workshop.  More activities for us to do at outreach events this summer.

    Our February SMAS meeting will be back at FIRE STATION #3, located at the regional park. We are hoping for clear skies. We will start our meeting inside then head out to view the sky. We will learn how to use a star map and plansphere. How to navigate the night sky.

    See you Friday February 27th at 7:00 p.m.