BEST Stargazing Practices + 2023 Meteor Showers
Did you know not all nights are created equal when it comes to stargazing? The Milkyway is visible from Starstruck Glamping, but not every night. Time your trip for a Meteor Shower or Milky Way visibility to have the absolute best stargazing experience.
There are a few important factors to consider when planning the Ultimate Stargazing Experience. We put together some tips for the best stargazing visibility!
Top 3 things to Consider for Stargazing:
Moon Phase & Rise/Set time
Light in the sky is the reason we don't see as many stars in cities as we do in the countryside. The sheer amount of lights affect how visible the night sky & stars are. The less light pollution, the more visible stars are at night. The light can be from electricity, firelight, sunlight & moonlight. All light limits the visibility of stars.
The Big Bend Region, & StarStruck Glamping, has truly world-class stargazing. We are located within the Largest International Dark Sky reserve in the world. Yes, you read that right. So dark, that you can see the Milky Way with the naked eye. We even have an international observatory, the McDonald Observatory in the nearby Fort Davis Mountains. The locals that live here take protecting the night sky very seriously. Utilizing best practices to inhibit light pollution such as using amber-colored lighting, pointing lights downward, or forgoing lights altogether.
In addition to geographical location, localized light pollution affects how well you see the stars. Any lights will deter from the absolute best visibility. So, be sure to turn off all lights near you. Even fire light affects your visibility - so if you have a fire going but want the best visibility, step away to get the full experience.
It takes a moment for eyes to adjust, so always look up for extended amounts of time & marvel at how you can see deeper into the cosmos the longer you look!
Pro Tip: Use red light on your headlamp or flashlight to create the least amount of light pollution. This will ensure the best visibility for you & those around you (while keeping you safe from poky plants & uneven terrain!).
Moon The moon & all its phases will affect how dark or light the night is. The full moon is like a spotlight & is so bright it casts a shadow. This will interfere with star visibility. New Moons, on the other hand, cast no light at all, making it an ideal time for stargazing.
But what if your trip dates are not on a new moon? Fret not, this is where the moon's rise & set time comes in.
The moon rises & sets at different times each day & night (much like the sun). For example, if the moon rises at 3 am & the sun sets at 7 pm, you would have all night to stargaze without any light being cast from the moon - no matter what phase it's in. For this reason, it's still possible to stargaze even on nights with a full or gibbous moon, if it rises late or sets early! You can find out the moon's rise & set time here.
Keep in mind, if the dates you are visiting don't line up with a new moon, or the moon rises early that night, you will still see the stars & it will still be an amazing experience. Fret not, the stars are still spectacular!
Meteor Showers There's nothing quite as awe-inspiring as seeing a falling star shoot across the sky! The wonder that fills us is euphoric!
Why not plan your trip for a Meteor Shower? Increase your odds of seeing a shooting star... or 50. The best part is there's at least one meteor shower each month! Fun Fact: Meteor showers occur at the same time each year because as the earth orbits around the sun annually it intersects the comet's orbit. Wahlahhh, beautiful light show.
Meteor showers have different frequencies, intensities & brightness. Some comets pass slowly with a long tail, while others pass quickly & with high volume. Some are bright, others are dull, & some are colorful! We've even seen groups of stars shoot together in pairs or in 3's. The most famous meteor shower is the Perseids shower, for a good reason - it has dependable & rewarding showers each year in August. Our personal favorite meteor shower is the Geminids shower, which occurs every December. It has the highest # of falling stars & they can also be colorful! Do you have a favorite? Or are you just pumped each time you see a shooting star? No matter where you fall on the spectrum - we totally relate.
2022 Meteor Showers:
Dec 28 - Jan 12
Jan 31 - Feb 20
Feb 25 - Mar 28
Apr 14 - Apr 30
Apr 19 - May 28
Jun 2 - Jul 2
SOUTHERN DELTA AQUARIIDS
Jul 12 - Aug 23
Jul 17 - Aug 24