August 2023 Night Sky Report: Shooting Stars, Supermoons, & More!

The month of August is going to be full of amazing stargazing, supermoons, meteor showers, and more!

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Everyone always gushes about Hilton Head Island’s natural beauty—and we don’t disagree, they have a reason to gush! There’s a very noticeable lack of neon signs, billboards, and really anything that’s designed to stick out, for that matter. Throughout your day, you’ll only see greenery, beautiful beaches, and architectural styles that blend in with the landscape on purpose.

But at night, that’s when the true natural, feeling-like-you’re-in-the-middle-of-nowhere bliss sets in. And that feeling is totally delightful for those visiting from big cities. Maybe it’s the main reason the trip was booked!

It takes a while to get used to driving at night, as there are very few street lamps to guide your way and it’s just plain dark. Along the beach line during turtle nesting season, locals and visitors join forces to stop light pollution from deterring any sea turtle from laying her eggs, or confusing hatchlings on their journey to the water’s edge. As far as the rest of the island is concerned, there aren’t that many spots where it gets any lighter.

That means when you look up on a clear night, the dazzling night sky will most likely catch you off guard, and make you wonder, “When was the last time I saw this many stars?”

The month of August is going to be full of amazing stargazing, supermoons, meteor showers, and more! Here is a list of what to look out for:

Photo by Adam Mescher

The Southern Delta Aquariids

Mid July-August 21st

Have you ever wanted to see a shooting star? You’ll have a really good chance this month. The Delta Aquariids race through the night sky at 25-miles per second. This meteor shower, although commonly called shooting stars, will reach high activity during the first few nights of August. That’s not to say that you won’t have a chance to see these fireballs, since you’ll technically have until the 21st. Look toward the Aquarius constellation to better your chances!

Sturgeon Moon

August 1st

The first of two supermoons this month, the Full Sturgeon Moon will rise Tuesday afternoon, and be seen for three full days. The names of supermoons are derived from whichever season they’re in. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, sturgeon are caught in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain during this time of year. The Corn Moon, Harvest Moon, and Mountain Shadows Moon are just some other names for this moon. Learn more on the Farmer’s Almanac website.

Perseid Meteor Shower

August 11-13th

Plan to get up early during these days to see the Perseid Meteor Shower. This meteor shower happens every year, and is said to peak during the predawn hours. It’s expected to produce 50 meteors per hour, along with a great chance to see a bunch of shooting stars. As long as it’s a clear night, these days will be a great time for viewing, as the moon’s phase won’t be as bright and steal the spotlight.

Blue Moon

August 30th

The Blue Moon is also considered a supermoon, and will be the biggest and brightest this year! This is a rare occurrence, because most months have one full Moon, and not two—especially not two supermoons! Hence where the phrase, “Once every blue moon,” comes from. As far as two Blue Moons in one year, Farmer’s Almanac says that that won’t happen until 2037.

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