Best Time Of Year For Astrophotography

By | 16/10/2022

When is best to stargaze?

Several factors will affect your stargazing feel. Here nosotros share hints and tips on making your stargazing trip worthwhile and help you lot cull when is the best time to go stargazing.


Natural moonlight washes out the light from most stars leaving merely the brightest visible and is most noticeable around the time of the full-Moon. When the Moon is at its brightest fewer stars tin be seen. Therefore, the time during total Moon is the worst time to stargaze — at this fourth dimension, even nighttime sky sites free from artificial light pollution are no darker than a city centre!

The best time to go stargazing is the days before, during and soon after each new Moon, when there is no Moon in the sky.

During these times, at that place is no vivid Moon to launder out the low-cal from fainter stars. As a effect, you will be able to meet thousands of stars with only your naked middle, this compared to just a few hundred at other times.

Comparison of starry skies and moonlit skies
Starry skies (left) are all-time seen when there’southward no bright Moon (correct). Photos by Wil Photography

Information technology’s as well the best time to run across the Galaxy arching beyond the sky (depending on the time of year and time of night). You will accept far improve views of fainter objects such as galaxies, nebulae and star clusters when using a telescope during a new Moon period.

If yous want to see star-filled skies, avoiding times around the full Moon volition hateful you see more than.

Summer twilight

Summer months mean long days and brusque nights and, therefore, significantly reduce stargazing opportunities. Hours of morning and evening twilight are longer during the summer. The skies take longer to get dark after sunset and get lighter earlier earlier sunrise leaving only a brusk menses to view dark skies. Around the summertime solstice (the longest twenty-four hour period), information technology hardly gets dark at all!

Twilight skies are not dark
Skies do non get dark until belatedly through Summertime

Observing season

Autumn, Winter and Leap offer the best times to stargaze, and many astronomers refer to an ‘observing flavor’. From the time clocks go back in October (nights become ane-hour longer) to the fourth dimension they go forwards in March (nights become 1-60 minutes shorter). As a consequence, you volition find most stargazing events organised during this period — indeed, many non-commercial observatories stay closed during the summertime months as it but doesn’t go dark when the public can visit.

Helping decide when is best

Considering all of the above factors tin be tricky to decide when to go stargazing! To aid, nosotros have created a dark heaven calendar that shows, month by calendar month, when the skies will be night. Our agenda shows what time the skies volition be dark and for how long. If you’re ever planning a stargazing trip, make certain you check our calendar commencement, especially if you are travelling some distance!

Planning a stargazing trip?

If you are thinking of travelling to a remote dark sky site or observatory, use our dark sky agenda to identify those dates which are going to be free of moonlight and twilight. One time you’ve identified the all-time dates have a look at where you lot might go stargazing for communication on locations and what you should accept with y’all.