Summer Offers Dramatic Night Sky

Summer Offers Dramatic Night Sky

Camp Casey is known for its massive night sky, making it a great place to stargaze any time of year. However, the summer months offer some extra special treats. Even though Camp Casey is closed in the month of July due to COVID-19, we still like our future visitors to have the opportunity to enjoy the night sky from home or nearby parks with this timely information.

The moon turns full during the nighttime hours on July 4 and 5 this year. It’s often called a “Buck Moon” because male deer begin to grow velvety antlers this time of year. At the same time, we’ll also experience a penumbral lunar eclipse. This occurs when the sun, Earth, and moon are in perfect alignment. With Earth in the middle, its shadow falls on the moon. A penumbral eclipse happens only when the moon moves through the faint outer part of the Earth’s shadow.

Also, the July full moon shines with the close vicinity of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, which really has night skygazers excited. Both planets will reach “opposition” this month on July 14 (Jupiter) and 20 (Saturn), which means Earth is in the middle of a line between each outer planet and the sun. Each will appear their biggest and brightest closest to the Earth on their respective night.

Last, but not least, one of the most dramatic meteor showers of the year — the Perseids — is on August 11 and 12. The annual meteor shower is the result of the Earth passing through debris trails left by comets. The meteors are typically small pieces of ice which rapidly burn up in the atmosphere, never making it to our planet’s surface. It’s possible to see up to 50 or 60 shooting stars per hour. No telescope is required.

If you miss the summer penumbral lunar eclipse and meteor shower, don’t worry. It just so happens they both occur again this winter.

Image by local photographer, Jack Hartt.

Camp Casey Conference Center is the perfect location for an inspiring group getaway to Whidbey Island, Washington. Ideal for sports camps, church groups, outdoor education camps, summer camps, and other nonprofit endeavors, Camp Casey provides overnight accommodations and food service for groups large and small. Explore our group lodging packages and start planning your next group retreat today!