June 30, 2011
The Big Sky Astronomy Club was created during the fall of 2000 as Non-Profit corporation, registered with the State of Montana. This, however, didn't afford us tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service.
During the first months of 2011, club members began the arduous task of assembling the documentation necessary to apply to the I.R.S. for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
On July 30, 2011, we excitedly received word from the I.R.S. that our application had been approved and that the Big Sky Astronomy Club was now (and retroactively to our formation in October of 2000) considered to be a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit, charitable organization. As such, contributions to our club are fully tax deductible.
If you'd like to help out with a donation, the club has a PayPal© account set up. See our "About Us" page for more information.
July 25, 2014
For the nineth year in a row, the Big Sky Astronomy Club and Lone Pine State Park will host what has become one of our most popular summertime events on July 25. Club president, Mark Paulson, will offer an interesting PowerPoint presentation entitled "Stargazing With the Big Sky Astronomy Club" starting at 9 PM in the Visitors' Center conference room. An observing session (lasting until 1 AM) will follow, allowing our visitors to view planets, double stars and several deep-sky objects through our club members' telescopes.
Please mark your calendars for this fun and educational event.
July and August 2014
The Big Sky Astronomy Club, in conjunction with Glacier National Park, will once again host three star parties this summer under extremely dark skies at the Logan Pass Visitors' Center parking lot at the summit of Going-To-The-Sun-Road.
The events are extremely popular, with attendance at each event approaching four or five hundred visitors. The three 2014 dates are July 18, August 1 and August 15. These dates are all Fridays and we are reserving the next night (Saturday) as a backup date in the event of inclement weather on the scheduled Friday.
August 21 - 23 2014
The Big Sky Astronomy Club will host our third annual state-wide star party, Montana Starwatch this summer on private property near Twin Bridges, Montana. The property is owned by BSAC club member Joe Witherspoon. This will be the third year that the star party has been held at this wonderful, dark sky site. We are hoping that we won't have a repeat of the exciting weather that we did last year. A severe thunderstorm developed in the Twin Bridges area on Thursday afternoon, just as the first participants were beginning to arrive. The storm produced a breif funnel cloud that touched down east of the town of Twin Bridges and sustained winds, estimated at between 80 to 90 miles per hour, tore through the area. Fortunately, with the exception of one porta-potty that was totally destroyed, there were no major disasters due to the severe weather.
Former Southwest Montana Astronomical Society members Shane and Michelle Larson traveled from Chicago (where they now live) to attend last year's event.
Friday night, Michelle gave a fascinating PowerPoint presentation on Chicago's Adler Planetarium, where she is President and CEO. Saturday evening, Shane gave an intriguing PowerPoint presentation on our Milky Way galaxy. Arrangements are being made for speakers and programs for this year's event.
For more information, including a registration form for the event, please see the official Montana Starwatch website at: www.montanastarwatch.org.
Summer Weekends, 2014
The Big Sky Astronomy Club will once again work with the management of Glacier National Park to put on a very popular Summer Stargazing Program at the Apgar Transit Center on the west side of the park and at St. Mary on the east side. Over the past three years, literally thousands of visitors have had a chance to view sunspots on the face of our Sun during daylight hours and then, each evening, they have had an opportunity to view many of the interesting deep sky objects visible through telescopes of various types and sizes under the truly dark skies found in Glacier.
Once again this year, the west side Visiting Astronomer will be David Ingram. David is the chapter leader of the Northwest section of the International Dark-Sky Association (Darkskies Northwest) in Seattle.
His counterpart on the east side will be Ray Stinson. Ray is a member of the Tacoma (WA) Astronomical Society. This will be David's second and Ray's fourth season as Visiting Astronomers.
November 14, 2013
Big Sky Astronomy Club member Joe Witherspoon and his personal observatory located outside of Twin Bridges, Montana, were featured in a very nice article published in the Missoulian newspaper on Thursday, November 14th, 2013.
The in-depth article described Joe's interest in astronomy, his personal observatory and what prompted his eventual move to Twin Bridges, having lived in the light pollution of Tacoma, Washington for many years.
The article can be read online at the Missoulian's website by clicking here.
September 4, 2013
The Big Sky Astronomy Club was featured in a very nice article published in Kalispell's Daily InterLake newspaper on Wednesday, September 4th, 2013.
The article described our history, our many outreach efforts along with our plans to build an observatory/education center and purchase a portable planetarium for use in our educational outreach.
The article can be read online at the Daily Inter Lake's website by clicking here.