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March 17, 2023 4 min read 0 Comments
One of the most awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping memories you can make is when you gaze up at the stars during a camping trip. So what are you waiting for? Grab your stargazing tent and book that campsite! With this handy 2023 stargazing calendar, we break down all the special constellations, meteor showers and camping stargazing events best seen under the dark skies of a new moon, as well as exact dates when you can enjoy a full moon for camping under the magical moonlight.
March 21 | New Moon
At 9:30 pm, look for the Leo constellation in the south-southwest sky.
March 28 | Venus, Mars, Uranus, and Moon Cluster
Greet the sunrise and take in the splendor of Venus, Mars, and Uranus coming together for a beautiful meeting next to the moon.
April 15 - 22 | International Dark Sky Week
April is Global Astronomy Month and, along with it, International Dark Sky Week. So turn off your lighting and appreciate the grandeur of the night sky as it was meant to be seen.
April 22 - 23 | Lyrid Meteor Shower
While the Lyrid Meteor Shower is active for half of April, the 22nd and 23rd are the peak. And with a new moon on April 19th, your viewing conditions could not get better than this. Or can they? April 22nd and 23rd are on the weekend, so plan your camping trip accordingly.
May 5 - 6 | Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower
The Eta Aquariids typically produce 45 to 85 meteors per hour, coming down at lightning speed. Unfortunately, the 2023 Eta Aquarid aligns with a full moon, which limits the peak day viewing. But if you plan well, you can align a camping excursion a week before or after to catch a glimpse of their stunning, long glowing trails.
June 4 | Venus at Its Highest Point
In early June, the planet Venus reaches its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun. At the highest point on the horizon, look to the western sky at sunset to see this bright planet.
July 28 - 29 | Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower
Producing up to 20 meteors per hour at peak, the Delta Aquarids are up against a full moon this year. But if you camp near dark skies, there's still a good chance you can spot a few after midnight.
August 11 - 12 | Perseid Meteor Shower
The always popular Perseid shower brings in up to 100 meteors per hour at its peak when Earth shifts into the comet Swift-Tuttle. Almost a new moon, the 2023 Perseid Meteor shower is not a show to be missed.
September 22 | Mercury at Its Highest Point
The best time to view planet Mercury in 2023. Look for Mercury just above the horizon in the early morning before sunrise.
October 8 - 9 | Draconid Meteor Shower
A waning crescent moon allows stargazers to witness the Draconids in the early evening hours. This minor shower typically produces 10 meteors per hour, with the rare burst of hundreds per hour if you're lucky.
October 14 | Solar Eclipse
Visible from the southwestern U.S. this year is the "Ring of Fire" solar eclipse, offering a spectacular display when the moon covers the sun, giving off a majestic glowing ring. Of course, remember your solar eclipse safety tips.
October 22 | Orioniods
Get up early to catch the Orionids, falling at a rate of 10 to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. Like the Eta Aquarids, this meteor shower comes from the Halley comet. While there's a first-quarter phase moon, give it time to set at midnight to catch a shooting star or two.
November 10 - 13 | Taurid Meteor Shower
Considered a minor shower, the Taurid meteor shower peaks on November 12th. While they peak at only roughly 5-10 per hour, these larger meteors pack a punch with their size and brilliant fireball display.
December 13 - 14 | Geminid Meteor Shower
Raining through the skies at a speed 40x faster than a bullet, the Geminids are a must-see shower to round out 2023. A waxing crescent moon sets early, offering a viewing of the Geminids around 2am. With some luck, stargazers could see up to 120 meteors per hour.
While full moons are not ideal for stargazing, they still offer a wonderful illumination for family camping trips and night adventures like hiking and more. Here is a list of the most beautiful and brightest 2023 full moons and supermoons to align with your camping weekend and calendar.
Looking for a campsite with vast open skies to take in the beautiful stars, full moon, and camping stargazing events of 2023? Check out some of our favorite campsites and even stay in one of our stargazing tents.
Head to Utah for the most breathtaking night skies and book a stay at the Off Grid Stargazing Tent to make the most of your glamping experience.
Book a Hawaiian vacation at The Haven at Hawi Nani, located on the beautiful Kohala Coast with white sand beaches.
Sandpoint’s Boho Bell Tent on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho offers a waterfront campsite perfect for daytime kayaking and nighttime stargazing.
Remember! The best places to go stargazing are ones situated far away from light pollution. Discover more areas to camp using a Dark Sky map.
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