As America’s first Gold-tier dark sky reserve, Central Idaho is an excellent place for stargazing. From anywhere in the Wood River Valley, The Milky Way is clearly visible on a clear night, along with billions of stars twinkling in the dark sky. The sky becomes alight as meteor showers sprinkle down their “shooting stars”. Even more stars are visable when stargazing on the night of a new moon.
New Moon -May 4
Eta Aquariids – Peak night May 6-7, 2019 – Active from April 19th to May 26th, 2019 – From the equator northward, they usually only produce medium rates of 10-30 per hour just before dawn. Activity is good for a week centered the night of maximum activity. These are swift meteors that produce a high percentage of persistent trains, but few fireballs.
New Moon – Jun 3
New Moon – July 2
New Moon – July 31
Alpha Capricornids – Peak night Jul 26-27, 2019 – Active from July 11th to August 10th, 2019 – The Alpha Capricornids have a “plateau-like” maximum centered on July 29. This shower is not very strong and rarely produces in excess of five shower members per hour. What is notable about this shower is the number of bright fireballs produced during its activity period.
Perseids – Peak night Aug 11-12, 2019 – Active from July 13th to August 26th, 2019 – The Perseids are the most popular meteor shower as they peak on warm August nights as seen from the northern hemisphere. Normal rates seen from rural locations range from 50-75 shower members per hour at maximum.
New Moon – Aug 30
New Moon – Sep 28
New Moon – Oct 27
Orionids – Peak night Oct 21-22, 2019 – Active from September 23rd to November 27th, 2019 – The Orionids are a medium strength shower that sometimes reaches high strength activity. In a normal year the Orionids produce 20-25 shower members at maximum. In exceptional years the peak rates can be 50-75 per hour.
Northern Taurids – Peak night Nov 10-11, 2018 – Active from October 19th to December 10th, 2018 – In late October and early November, there is sometimes a notable increase in the fireball activity.
Leonids – Peak night Nov 17-18, 2019 – New Moon Nov 26 – Active from November 5th to November 30th, 2019 – Peaks of around 15 shower members per hour and perhaps an occasional weak outburst when the earth passes near a debris trail. The Leonids are often bright meteors with a high percentage of persistent trains.
Geminids – Peak night Dec 13-14, 2019 – Active from December 4th to December 16th, 2019 – The Geminids are usually the strongest meteor shower of the year and meteor enthusiasts are certain to circle December 13 and 14 on their calendars. This is the one major shower that provides good activity prior to midnight. The Geminids are often bright and intensely colored. Due to their medium-slow velocity, persistent trains are not usually seen.
New Moon – Dec 25
Quadrantids – Peak night Jan 3-4 – Active from January 1st to January 10th, 2019 – The Quadrantids have the potential to be the strongest shower of the year with average hourly rates one can expect under dark skies is 25, depending on weather. These meteors often produce bright fireballs.
New Moon – Apr 5
Lyrids – Peak night Apr 21-22, 2019 – Active from April 16th to April 25th, 2019 – The Lyrids usually produce well for three nights centered on the maximum. These meteors usually lack persistent trains but can produce fireballs. These meteors are best seen from the northern hemisphere where the radiant is high in the sky at dawn.