Stargazing on Sunset Beach: A 4 Month Guide to Wow You on Vacation

Stargazing on Sunset Beach: A 4 Month Guide to Wow You on Vacation | Sunset Vacations

Sunset Beach has many amazing things you can see in the skies year-round, the most famous being its gorgeous sunsets! But there are many other great things you can see throughout the year that can make a great family activity on your beach vacation to Sunset Beach.

Watching the skies and stars from your vacation rental deck or the beach can be one of the most fantastic vacation experiences. The skies hold such awe, wonder, and beauty. Here are some things you can see in the next few months that should dazzle you and your family!

April Stargazing

April is Global Astronomy Month, an annual celebration of astronomy and stargazing, where activities are organized worldwide throughout April. And many people like participating in International Dark Sky Week from April 15-22.

It is a worldwide organization that brings awareness to light pollution and what we can do to reduce this human interference in nature. Through events, advocacy, and other means, they spread the importance of reducing light pollution. You can check out their website for more information and look for events in your area.

Ingram Planetarium

Another great place to check out is Ingram Planetarium. They also have weekly activities that educate you on the night sky so you can know what you're looking at in the sky when you go out stargazing! They have weekly events and exciting educational shows to teach kids and adults alike about astronomy in a fun and easy way to learn.

On April 22, Earth Day, you can go to Town Center Park in Ocean Isle Beach for their Seas, Stars, and S'mores event, where they teach about sea turtles and light pollution. You'll learn what light pollution is, how it affects sea turtles, and through fun activities, how to keep them safe by turning off the lights on the beach.

At 7 pm, you can enjoy s'mores and get kid's activity packets with coupons to the museum and the planetarium. But if you can't make that date, there are plenty of other exciting shows and events at Ingram, so be sure to check them out and plan a day to learn about the fascinating heavens!

Of course, you can enjoy stargazing without going to these events, but they will help you enjoy your experience more when you have a little context for the night sky. Here are some incredible things you can see this spring and summer on Sunset Beach.

Lyrid Meteor Shower April 16-22

April 19 is the New Moon, which means the moon is at its darkest and will be some of the best times to see stars due to the darkness, which is perfect timing for the Lyrid meteor shower between April 16-22, with April 22 being its peak.

This meteor shower is pieces of debris from the tail of Comet Thatcher and occurs when Earth passes through its path each year, causing a spectacular show on Earth. If you look toward the star Vega, that is the general direction you can view this meteor shower.  

May Stargazing

From May 5-7, the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower is tail debris from Halley's Comet and produces somewhere around 50 meteors in an hour at its peak. It is usually one of the best meteor showers of the year. Unfortunately, the full moon will impede this light show, but it is still worth getting out to your favorite spot to see what you can see!

And if you're a particular fan of Mercury, May 29 is a great time to see it at one of its best positions because it will be at its Greatest Eastern Elongation, and it will be low in the sky right after the sun goes down.

Stargazing on Sunset Beach: A 4 Month Guide to Wow You on Vacation | Sunset Vacations

July Stargazing

June is a relatively quiet month, but at the end of July, you can catch the Delta Aquarid Meteor shower though it is not one of the more spectacular night skies shows you will see. Plus, you will be contending with an almost full moon, making it harder to see.

Going out after midnight with as minimal light pollution as possible is best. But with comfortable chairs and the good company of your family, it should still be an enjoyable stargazing adventure!

August Stargazing

This month brings the famous Perseid Meteor shower, which is one of the best you can see all year. Since it will be during a new moon this year, it will be the most optimal view you can get. With this marveling wonder, you can expect to see up to 100 meteors an hour.

And then, on August 31, you can enjoy the biggest full moon of 2023, which is always gorgeous over the ocean and a perfect opportunity to relax after a hot day at the end of a long but fading summer before the cooler temperatures set in for fall.

Beach Etiquette and Rules

Read all beach rules and regulations before going to the beach. Since Sunset Beach is a turtle sanctuary, there are perhaps more rules to abide by than other beaches. It is to protect sea turtles from human interference like light pollution and being unable to nest. When choosing a spot to stargaze, make sure you're in a place where you're not disturbing wildlife or breaking any rules and ordinances.

Safe places you can stargaze from are your beach rental property, open piers after dark, and stretches of beach where night activities are permitted. And, of course, any safe locations you know about or discover on your adventures. Another great place to check with is Ingram Planetarium. They also might know of some excellent viewing places.

No matter what you see this spring and summer, you will have an excellent time on your beach vacation. Many of our rental properties provide lovely places for stargazing. Check out our rentals and find the best one for your vacation this year!

Are you planning your beach vacation this year?

See why a beach vacation rental is your best bet!

Stargazing on Sunset Beach: A 4 Month Guide to Wow You on Vacation | Sunset Vacations

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