CANYON FERRY — The Montana Learning Center (MLC) recently added an all-sky camera to let people see Big Sky Country from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection..
The all-sky camera provides a 180-degree view of the sky at Canyon Ferry Lake. It has a constellation overlay to help amateur astronomers know exactly what they’re looking at, records time-lapses of the sky and offers predictions for auroras based on solar storms.
Light-pollution is an ever growing concern for star gazers. Because of its location, the camera offers a great, unpolluted view of the sky.
“I’m really glad we could do this because this kind of broadens our aspect with astronomy because anyone with an internet connection can view it,” said Ryan Hannahoe, MLC Executive Director. “Unlike our remote telescope in New Mexico, where one person at a time can use that, this isn’t limited by bandwidth so it’s a pretty great option.”
Registration is currently open for MLC’s summer camps, and spots are still available.
MLC offers 30 programs that range from 1st grade through high school.
The education facility received a grant from the state to develop and implement extra cleaning and hygiene precautions this summer to help limit the spread of any potential disease.
Hannahoe says the learning center is just happy to provide any opportunity for kids this summer.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a kid at this time,” said Hannahoe. “For most Montana students, school stopped in the middle of March and went online, and so did their interaction with their peers and their friends. I think most can’t wait to get out and interact with other kids again. We want to provide that opportunity, but also do it in a safe manner.”
MLC provides scholarship opportunities to help students who are passionate about science attend their nationally renowned camps.
Hannahow says they’ve seen a large increase in student scholarship requests this year, but are currently only able to meet the needs of around 15 students.
People can donate to MLC to help more students attend science summer camps while easing any economic strain that may be put on the student’s family. $500 sponsors a camper for a week.
More information about MLC’s programs and how to support their students can be found here.