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Stargazing Opportunities

Podcast for Summer Stargazing in Seattle [1]

Summer Stargazing in Seattle

Looking for stars in Seattle? The further you can get from streetlights, the better. Darkness is what you need for the best stargazing.* If you’d like to join other astronomy enthusiasts, try one of these local events!

Star Parties:

The Seattle Astronomical Society hosts stargazing parties in two locations in Seattle. http://www.seattleastro.org [2]

Green Lake Star Party: Green Lake star parties are on the north shore at a grassy area west of the Bathhouse Theater, near the fishing piers on the lake.
July 12th and August 9th at 7pm

Paramount Park Star Party: The park address is NE 155th and 8th NE in Shoreline.
July 12th and August 9th at 7pm

UW Observatory Open House:

Look through the UW’s 110-year-old refracting telescope, and listen to a short talk. The observatory is located in the northwest corner of the campus. http://www.astro.washington.edu/observatory/ [3]

July 2nd and 16th at 9pm
August 6th and 20th at 9pm

*Please use caution walking in the city in the dark. Also, be aware that many of Seattle’s Parks close at sunset.

Further Afield

Getting out of the city makes for even better views of the sky. Here are some of my favorite stargazing locations within a few hours of Seattle. Most of these are fee-based public areas.

Campground on Lake Kachess

In the Cascades just off I-90. The boat ramp has a good view towards the Northeast (perfect for Perseid viewing). Be sure to talk to the ranger beforehand though, the boat ramp is in the “Day Use Only” section of the park. Info: www.reserveamerica.com [4]

Lake Ozette in Olympic National Park

Near the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, has a good reputation. Stay near the water (out of the trees) for the best sights. Info: www.nps.gov [5] , Brochure [6]

Bowman Bay Campground

The Boeing Employee’s Astronomical Society recommends Bowman Bay Campground in Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island. Info: www.parks.wa.gov [7]

Staircase Campground

My favorite stargazing location, Staircase Campground in Olympic National Park, is closed due to road-washout and should reopen sometime this summer. If you get there, sit on the bridge for the best views. Info: www.nps.gov [8] , Brochure [8]

The Perseid Meteor Shower

If you spend any time stargazing this summer, be sure not to miss the Perseid meteor shower.

Dates: July 17-August 24th
Time: After midnight
Best Viewing: August 12 12am-3am

To see the Perseids, turn to face the constellation Perseus, which will be rising in the Northeast a bit before midnight.

Pacific Science Center’s Starmap for July and August

July-August Starmap [9]

Where’d I Get My Info?

UW Observatory:
http://www.astro.washington.edu/observatory/ [3]

Seattle-Area Astronomy Events:
http://www.seattleastro.org [2]