The season can also affect the number of visible stars, as the Earth's position in its orbit around the sun changes throughout the year. For example, during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the Milky Way is often visible. While during the winter months, constellations such as Orion and Taurus are more prominent. Winter nights are longer and the air is generally clearer, making it easier to see stars.
It's also important to consider the phase of the moon, as the moon's brightness can interfere with star visibility. If you want to see stars at their brightest, it's best to plan your stargazing trip during a new moon or when the moon is not visible in the sky. Reference the moon calendar screen shot below as an example.
The visibility of stars can also be influenced by atmospheric conditions, such as the presence of clouds or haze. Clear, dry nights with low humidity and minimal light pollution are ideal for stargazing, as they provide the best conditions for clear and bright views of the night sky.
If your goal is to stargaze when there is a new moon, I highly suggest finding a trusted moon phase calendar tool or moon schedule to find out the lunar phase for any given month. I like using this online moon schedule tool from moonconnections.com. Simply select a month, year, identify your hemisphere, and click "Go", and it will show you what the moon will look like for any day that month. The internal phase calculator is very accurate, but the images are approximations.
Happy trails and stargazing with your closest friends and family around a warm and inviting campfire. Don't forget to make a wish after you witness a shooting star.
Photo Credits: @roamrx
- Mike Houston