Do you have youngsters who could use some of that free time this summer reaching for the stars?

The University of Montana Department of Physics and Astronomy invites young stargazers to enjoy its new summer series at the planetarium, which is designed specifically for children ages 5 and older.

The shows are scheduled for Wednesday afternoons, July 6, July 20 and Aug. 3, in the Payne Family Native American Center Star Gazing Room. During each event, UM’s astronomy experts will present a pair of identical shows beginning at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Each show is expected to last about 45 minutes, and all children are required to be accompanied by an adult.

The special summer series will include an overview of constellations visible in Montana, a short movie on the invention of the telescope and a fun tour around the solar system.

Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 12 and under and are available for purchase at The maximum capacity for public shows is 28 people, so tickets are limited. Shows generally sell out far in advance and are not available the day of the show.

Attendees should plan to arrive 10 minutes before the beginning of the show to check in. The planetarium entrance will be locked after the show begins, as it is unsafe to navigate the room in the dark. And we love that the room is appropriately named the Star Gazing Room!

For more information on the planetarium and public shows, you can contact Mark Reiser, outreach coordinator, UM Department of Physics and Astronomy, 406-243-2074,

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket for me, okay?    DB

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