Montana’s LAst Best Skies
Since ancient times, humans have gazed upward at a sky sparkling with stars. Although over 80 percent of the world can no longer see the Milky Way or the Northern Lights due to light pollution, Montana still has many places to enjoy the same pristine night skies as our ancestors. As you create your summer itinerary, schedule in time to enjoy the dark. The best time to stargaze is around the new moon, when moonlight won’t wash out the sky. Find a place away from artificial outdoor lights or light pollution and give yourself about 20 minutes to adapt to the dark, just watching the stars emerge as your eyes adjust. With their wide field of view, binoculars make an ideal “first telescope” for taking a closer look. A star chart with constellations or free and easy-to-use apps like Star Walk or Stellarium help you orient yourself to the heavens; be sure to use a red night-mode flashlight or turn on the apps’ night mode feature
The Montana chapter of the International Dark Sky Association is one of many organizations working to protect the night sky in the Big Sky State. Learn more @MTDarkSkyIDA on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
Photo by: Jordan Lefler
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