Stargazing Guide 2024 for the San Juan Islands

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Blog, Outdoor Adventures and Activities | 0 comments

Humans have looked to the skies for millennia to ponder their existence, and to find answers and direction. Our culture has integrated the discoveries, modalities, and sciences that illustrate the profound and innumerable ways the cosmos impacts our daily lives. Most of us are familiar with our big three (our sun, moon, and rising signs), as well as a few star patterns and constellations like the Big Dipper. Humanity is fascinated by the skies and innately seeks to understand and connect with the unknown. At Lakedale, we’re blessed to be in a geographical position on San Juan Island that encourages stargazing. With little light pollution and lots of easy-to-spot sky shows, we’re perfectly poised for you to witness your first (or fifth or tenth) meteor shower, to see a supermoon, and to generally look up into a world impossible to fully comprehend—or articulate. 

Why Is Lakedale An Ideal Place For Stargazing?

Offering some of the best nature-centric views in the country, Lakedale is the perfect place to nurture the human-cosmos connection. Our perfect balance of earth and sky creates an unrivaled incubator for stargazing discoveries.

Last year, we shared how much fun we had publishing our first guide to sky events and decided to make it an annual thing. Much like the first, we’ve focused on the astrological events best seen from Lakedale. So, without further ado, let’s explore our third annual guide to meteor showers, lunar eclipses, and supermoons!

Super hrvest moon in WA state with forest and hills

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse: March 25, 2024

On the night of March 24, 2024, a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse will commence at 9:53 pm. The eclipse will peak at 12:12 am on March 25, offering a captivating celestial display. It’s worth noting that Penumbral Lunar Eclipses can be challenging to observe, as the shadowed part of the Moon is only slightly fainter than the rest.

Lyrids Meteor Shower—Peak: April 22, 2024  

From April 16 to April 25, 2024, stargazers can look forward to the Lyrids Meteor Shower. The peak night for this celestial event is anticipated to be around April 22, with the predicted peak time occurring at 2:23 am. However, it’s important to note that the presence of a full moon may impact the visibility of the meteor shower. Despite this challenge, observers may still catch glimpses of some meteors during this time.

Perseids Meteor Shower—Peak: August 12, 2024, Predawn

The Perseids Meteor Shower is renowned as the most beloved shower in the northern hemisphere. The mornings of August 11, 12, and 13 are considered the best for observing this meteor shower. The moon will be 50% illuminated during this period, providing good visibility. This shower is best enjoyed before dawn, promising a rich and steady display of meteors.

Partial lunar eclipse

Partial Lunar Eclipse: September 18, 2024

Take a break from the city hustle and book your Lakedale stay around September 18, 2024 while a partial lunar Eclipse unfolds. It begins on September 17 at 7:19 pm, peaks at 7:44 p.m. the following day, and concludes at 9:47 p.m. Pull up an Adirondack or rocking chair with a clear, unobstructed view facing East—the moon will be close to the horizon during the eclipse.

Orionids Meteor Shower—Peak: October 20, 2024, Between Midnight and Dawn

The peak night for this meteor shower is expected to be around October 20, 2024, at 11:14 a.m. For optimal viewing, look to the sky between midnight and dawn. Visibility may be impacted by a waning gibbous moon during this time. Despite this, the Orionids Meteor Shower is known for occasionally producing fireballs, adding excitement to the cosmic display. Be sure to watch for these dazzling meteors during this stargazing extravaganza.

Leonids Meteor Shower—Peak: November 17, 2024

Get ready for the Leonids Meteor Shower in November! Its peak night is anticipated to be around November 17, 2024, at 9:00 p.m. A full moon is expected on the 15th, and its brightness may impact meteor visibility. Even with the lunar interference, skygazers can still catch glimpses of the shower, so plan your observation accordingly.

Geminid meteor showers

Geminids Meteor Shower – Peak: December 13, 2024, All Night

The Geminids rise in the mid-evening, allowing observers to watch for these meteors throughout the night. However, this year’s challenge is that an almost full moon will be competing, creating a moonlit sky that may impact visibility. To enhance your viewing experience, consider blocking the moon’s light to better appreciate the bright and plentiful Geminids, known to rival the August Perseids’ brilliance. Take the chance to witness this impressive cosmic event.

Supermoons

Supermoons only occur a few times a year and are classified by two factors: the moon is the closest it will be to Earth within its 27-day cycle (lunar perigee) and at the full phase. Supermoons appear up to 30% brighter and 14% closer than a regular full moon. We’ll see four supermoons in 2024. We’ve listed their peak illumination times below.

Blue Supermoon—August 19, 2024 at 11:26 a.m.

The Blue Supermoon on August 19, 2024, at 11:26 a.m., is a rare celestial event, marking the only occurrence of its kind in 2024. This particular supermoon is classified as a “seasonal” one, adding a unique and special element to the astronomical calendar.

Super Harvest Moon—September 17, 2024 at 7:34 p.m.

Accompanied by a partial lunar eclipse, this supermoon creates a captivating celestial spectacle.

Super Hunter’s Moon—October 17, 2024 at 4:26 a.m.

This is the closest-to-the-earth full supermoon of the year!

Super Beaver Moon—November 15, 2024 at 1:29 p.m.

The Beaver Moon will appear full to the naked eye for several days around its peak date. Observers may also see the bright cluster Pleiades near the November full moon.

starry skies in the San Juan Islands of WA state

Tips For Stargazing at Lakedale

  • We have telescopes and stargazing charts at the front desk—stop by and ask us about them! 
  • Check the weather forecast before your arrival to see if you’ll have to deal with any cloud cover
  • Keep your (warm) drinks of choice and snacks handy
  • Grab chairs and blankets (we have a basket of Lakedale blankets in the Lodge right by the fire), bundle up, and head outside about 45 minutes before meteor showers peak so your eyes can adjust to the dark (supermoons and eclipses are exempt from this tip)
  • Enjoy the show!

.If you’ve used our guides to book your time at Lakedale, we’d love to know! Tag us on social media (we’re @lakedaleresort on Instagram and Facebook) so we can add some love to your stargazing San Juan Island adventure. And, if you have requests for upcoming guides, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for them. Or, you can wish on a star, but make sure you tell us, too. 

camping in the Pacific Northwest with tent, campfire and starry skies

 

Dates

Call now: 800-617-2267
4313 Roche Harbor Rd,
Friday Harbor, WA
98250