Nothing Good Ever Happens After Midnight, Except in Montana!

Stargazing in Montana

With our breathtaking landscapes, wide-open ranges, rushing creeks and rivers, and mountain ranges far and wide, Big Sky country offers endless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors throughout the day, and night.

What? Adventure at night? In Montana?  Absolutely.

STARS:  We are not talking about scenes like Las Vegas, yet we do have a lot of stars to view above Montana.  In fact, there are countless times throughout the year when one can experience the darkest of nights that display the brightest stars you may ever see.

High above our millions of acres of open space and private landscapes are some of the world’s more brilliant scenes of the forever ever sought-after Northern Lights, a.k.a. Aurora Borealis.

There’s an excellent map at TrailToTheStars.com where you can track some of the top spots for stargazing in the state. The trail includes over 40 locations where you gaze high in the sky from your backyard, campsite, or boat – the latter is our favorite way to experience the endless stars and planets that shine bright through our pollution-free, crystal-clear big sky.

NORTHERN LIGHTS:
Northern Lights v/s Aurora Borealis. Is there a difference?

Short and simple. No. Scientifically, Aurora Borealis is the official name for Northern Lights. “Aurora” was named after the Roman goddess of dawn. Borealis comes from the Greek word that defines ‘the north wind’ called “Boreas.” Collectively, they blend to define the ‘north wind.’

A cool fact: Galileo named this spectacular sight that we treasure in the Big Sky (and around the world) back in 1619!

Night Owl or not, if you want to see some of the world’s most spectacular displays, the best time to see Aurora is a few hours after midnight no matter where you are in the world. Clear skies and darkness are key to the perfect combination to capture the beauty to behold.

If you have yet to see Aurora, look for a luminous glow often described as “dancing neon green and yellow lights.”  Other colors that may mix within this spectacular sight are pink, blue, purple, red, and blue.  Check out Aurora Gazing

METEOR SHOWERS:
Where and When to See Meteor Showers in Montana?

If your timing is just not right to be above the 45th parallel to see the Northern Lights, there are still opportunities to see Meteor Showers throughout the Last Best Place!

According to our best resource, TimeandDate.com, now is a great time to experience Meteor Showers in Montana or in August through the end of the year!  On the website, you can learn more about the hundreds of celestial fireballs that most of us refer to as ‘shooting stars.’ However, the Meteor Showers do not involve stars at all.   That was a big surprise to us.

Science notes that ‘shooting stars’ as we thought we knew them are actually ‘small space particles.’  Some articles referred to them as ‘celestial debris.’   Debris or not, it’s always fun to watch for opportunities to wish on a shooting star.

Happy Stargazing!