The stars at night are big and bright

Deep in the heart of Texas, away from the city lights, the most wonderful sight is available year round: The sky. Located 60 miles away from the nearest major city and void of any light pollution, the park offers some of the most ideal conditions for taking in the view.

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On most clear nights you will be able to see the Moon, Venus and Jupiter line up fairly early, typically right after sunset. While the night sky is beautiful on its own, the universe puts on a few productions that are worth staying up for.

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The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most anticipated showers as, under the right conditions, it is possible to see over 200 meteors per hour. Astronomers predict an outburst occurring around August 11-12, but even the days before are said to be an amazing sight. You will have plenty of time to think up a few wishes as the best time to catch a falling star is late into the night and heading into early morning.

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In early October, be sure to catch the Draconids. Named for the nearby consellation Draco the Dragon, (just north of the Little Dipper) the Draconid shower is not quite as eventful as Perseid at usually only a few meteors per hour. However, staying up all night is not needed as this shower typically starts in the early evening rather than after midnight. Peak viewing dates for the Draconid shower are October 7-8.

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Grab an extra blanket and some hot chocolate for the annual mid-November Leonids shower. The shower, named so because it appears to emerge from the Leo constellation, is at its most visible on November 16-18th. With 10-15 meteors per hour on a dark night, the shower typically picks up some speed after midnight.

 

On a clear night, most showers are visible to the naked eye so telescopes and any other equipment are not necessary. We do recommend getting set up just before dusk and brining a few supplies, including some comfortable lawn chairs, a good blanket, some bug spray and maybe add in a little wine for a night of relaxation and dazzling views!