One of the greatest advantages to traveling in an RV is that you often find yourself in quiet, serene places far from the hustle and bustle of the city. From the beauty of the plush landscape and green foliage, to the crystal blue waterways that dot our nation, traveling in an RV places you on the 50-yardline of nature’s splendor.
Just because the sun goes down over your campsite—rendering the landscape invisible—doesn’t mean that the beauty has to end. Being far from the lights of the city affords campers the opportunity to gaze into the skies and see an infinite world of stars and planets, along with the millions of other objects that are constantly in motion miles above our heads.
What a great family activity; lying outside and visually learning about what our place is in the universe, and how miniscule our little planet is in the grand scheme of things.
Here are a few upcoming celestial events that you and your camping party can look forward to:
August 12, 2015 – Perseid Meteor Shower
This is considered by most folks to be one of the best annual displays of falling meteors. That’s because of the vast number of “falling stars” that are visible. Sometimes lucky spectators are favored with up to 90 meteors per hour. Last year in 2014 the moon was in a brilliant, waning gibbous phase, which eliminated the advantage of a dark sky. However, in 2015 the moon will be a couple of days before “new” and won’t be rising until just before daybreak, offering a very dark sky.
September 4, 2015 – Last Quarter Moon
The last quarter moon will pass in front of Aldebaran, one of the brightest stars in the sky. It is known as the “angry orange eye” of Taurus the Bull. This occurrence will be mostly visible over the eastern United States, but on November 26 (Thanksgiving morning), there will be another visible occurrence over a much wider region of North America.
September 27-28 – Lunar Eclipse
Sky gazers who are located across the central and eastern part of North America (roughly east of a division line between Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Houston) will be in the perfect spot to witness an entire lunar eclipse from the beginning to the end. Those who live further to the west will witness the moonrise with an eclipse already in progress. Not only will the moon be eclipsing that night, it will also very nearly coincide with perigee, which is its closest point to earth. The moon turns full between 10:30 pm and 11:00 pm and will be a mere 221,753 miles from the earth.
October 26, 2015 – Brilliant Double Planet
For the second time this year, Venus and Jupiter will move in a very close proximity to one another, separated by only one degree. Venus will pass to the lower right (southwest) of Jupiter, and will shine more than ten times brighter than the gaseous giant.
Mid-October through Mid-November – Taurid Meteors (Halloween Fireballs)
These meteors are sometimes referred to as the “Halloween Fireballs.” They show up in the skies during the months of October and November. The peak of the shower should occur from November 5th to November 12th. Periodically the earth encounters showers of larger particles, which produce spectacular meteor fireballs, and this year is expected to be one of those occasions.
December 13th and 14th – Geminids Meteor Shower
Of all the meteorite showers known to mankind, the Geminids is the one that guarantees the most spectacular show each year. The meteorites are brilliant and slower moving, and this shower is much more reliable to produce vast numbers of shooting stars. The moon will be just a narrow sliver in the sky, and will set early in the evening. This will provide a much darker stage, which is the perfect condition for observing shooting stars. You may see as many as 120 meteorites per hour!
No matter if you’re camping under the stars during a celestial event or not, every night is a show of nature’s beauty when you’re gazing into the heavens. Whether they are natural objects or manmade satellites, there are always things to see moving around up there in the dark skies above us.
One of the best things about gazing up at the skies while you’re camping is that when you’re ready to turn in for the night, you can disappear into the comfort and warmth of your Cruise America rental RV.
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