Helena Astronomical Society

The Helena Astronomical Society is the Montana capital’s amateur astronomy club, dedicated to offering free, public educational outreach and special observatory nights for our members.  Regardless of your experience level, if you have an interest in astronomy you are welcome to join us.  HAS owns 2 telescopes--one that is permanently mounted in our Observatory and a smaller telescope that can be checked out by members.  Additionally, we have a good collection of books on astronomy for all interests and skills that are available through a lending library.


Join HAS for International Observe the Moon Night!

Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 7 pm

Please join The Helena Astronomical Society in our celebration of this year's International Observe the Moon Night!  This annual event is sponsored by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), the Lunar and Planetary Institute and local astronomy clubs worldwide to encourage observation of Earth's Moon.

Our local event will be held on Saturday, October 28 beginning at 7pm at the Montana Learning Center located at 7653 Canyon Ferry Road, Helena, MT 59602.  We will be able to observe our Moon at one day past First Quarter, a great time to view the Moon through a telescope.  Half of the visible Moon will be in daylight, the other half in darkness.  The line separating the two halves--the terminator--is razor sharp.  On the lit side we will be able to see both Mare Serenitasis or the Sea of Serenity and Mare Tranquillitatis or the Sea of Tranquility, site of the historic Apollo 11 first manned landing on the Moon.

The terminator crosses craters large and small and we should be able to see the very tips of tall mountains brilliantly lit by our Sun floating above inky blackness below.

In addition to observing our Moon, we will also be able to see Saturn, its glorious rings and several of its moons and as the evening wears on and the Moon slips lower and lower toward the western horizon we'll look at many deep space objects including the Andromeda Galaxy.  Feel free to bring your own binoculars, spotting scopes or telescopes and we'll help you observe with your own gear.

October brings chilly nights back to Montana so don't forget to dress warmly, including hat and gloves.  MLC's Blue Cabin is available as a warming house and if our weather turns cloudy we will have a presentation about the Moon in the Blue Cabin instead. 

Clear skies or cloudy, we hope to see you there!

See our Meetings page for more details on our regular monthly meetings.