California Meteor Showers Eclipses, Stargazing, Star Party Camp, Public Telescopes
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Activities | Night Sky | Observatories


Star Gazing Meadow in Big Bear

Observing the Nights Sky

California Meteor Showers
Good Areas to Stargaze in California
Full Moons
No Moon
Eclipses from California

California Amateur Astronomy Groups/Clubs

Observatories: Telescope Tours & Shows

Viewing Lunar & Solar Eclipses - from California

Shooting star shows

Meteor Showers

I saw a bunch of shooting stars, Is there a meteor showers going on right now? When's the best time to see stars this season? What weekend should I go camping? Now you can plan your outdoor excursions around the nights sky's shows. Most meteor showers from North America can be seen in the later part of the year. The Perseid Shower is usually is the most noted summertime display. Leonid & Geminid Showers also are good shows. Check out the charts below for best viewing & perfect timing.

Meteor Showers - Best Viewing Tips

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Know where you're going, as well as why you are going!

shooting stars

Meteor Showers - Viewing from California

Shower Peak
Quadrantid Meteor Shower early January
Lyrid Meteor Shower mid April
Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower early May
Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower late July
Perseids Meteor Shower mid August
Orionid Meteor Shower mid October
Leonid Meteor Shower mid November
Geminid Meteor Shower mid December

Good Areas to Watch the Skies

Choose an area at least 40 miles from a major metropolitan city. Even sprawling suburbia street lights can be over powering. Gotta get away from the light polution.

Pick a secondary road off a local mountain highway. Pulling off the main drag just a quarter of a mile will help cut down on car headlights and the noise from passing traffic. Pick a level spot to park on the side, preferable in a wide section of the road. Next to a meadow or clearing is your best bet.

Open skies with very little trees around is preferred. Higher elevations (7000' +) will be colder temperatures at night ...where mid elevations (4000'+) should be warm, with countryside oak terrain & minimal tree coverage. Most of the California reservoirs are perfect areas for such night sky watching, but very close to city lights. Deserts make perfect stargazing spots in winter months... when more meteor showers appear and the viewing is prime.

Make a whole night of it!! Be sure that you bring your binoculars, tripod, telescope, tarp.
Or plan a campout and really relax. Additional comfort items: music, picnic food & beverages, sleeping bags, blankets, chairs. Hell, may as well throw in that large inflatable air bed mattress and a good tarp for underneath. Luxury star watching!

Canyon Creek 2016

perfect spots for star gazing:

Picnic dinner or Sunset appetizers

Pine Creek Rd. in San Diego County

Full Moons

When the moon is close to full, it's a great time for night hikes or mountain biking around desert roads at night. The bright reflection makes it difficult for star gazing, but it is perfect for checking out the moons surface with a telescope.

Get moon phases for your desired timeframe

Photo Credit © Jan Alexander

No Moons / New Moon

When there is no moon visible in the dark sky it is considered a new moon. This is the best time to see the stars because of the lack of moonlight in the nights sky. Just like the full moon, there is one new moon per month, approx. 15 days from the full moon date.

Sierra StarGazing

Great Spots for StarGazing:

Viewing Lunar & Solar Eclipses - from California

Road to Eagle Lake, California

Rose Valley Campground

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