Your Gateway to the Galaxy
If viewing heavenly bodies, the northern lights, or an epic meteor shower is on your bucket list, South Algonquin's dark sky nights are second to none. Celestial bodies and galactic events are visible to the naked eye throughout the year, and even more spectacular with binoculars or a telescope. Check out the forecast and our calendar!
The Milky Way
Visible from roughly April to October, the Milky Way is the stable, star of the celestial show. Weather permitting, the Milky Way makes an appearance nightly throughout the busy spring, summer and fall tourist seasons. Best viewed during the New Moon period.
Perseids Meteor Shower
Long considered the best meteor show of the summer season, the Perseids can be viewed from late July to Mid-August, with a peak around August 12-13. Producing more than 100 meteors per hour, many with long tails, the Perseids result from the Earth passing through the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet.
Full Moons, New Moons,
Blue Moons & Supermoons
When new moons grace our calendar, the result is a dark sky with spectacular star views. Full moons happen once a month, and often impede viewing of the night sky because they throw a lot of light. But when a regular full moon happens in a close orbit to the earth, the result is spectacular supermoon event in a category all on its own. Supermoons appear about 15% bigger to the naked eye than a typical full moon. Summer 2023 will produce three supermoons for us - July 3, August 1, August 31 (which is actually a BLUE Supermoon - the second of two full moons in the same month). The fourth and final supermoon of 2023 will occur on September 29.
The Northern Lights
The northern lights grace South Algonquin skies from time to time when solar storms create electrically charged particles that ride the solar wind destined to collide with Earth’s atmosphere. The aurora is elusive and there may be only a few hours warning they're on their way. But with just the right amount of planning, a pinch of luck and a great viewing location, you too could be fortunate enough to catch them in person.
South Algonquin's Night Sky Forecast
Look at the top section of the chart below for a vertical column with four squares. The red line signifies midnight. A vertical row of dark blue squares mean clear skies.
Visibility of the aurora (Northern Lights) is dependent on geomagnetic activity in the earth's atmosphere, which is measured on the KP index. A rating of 5 or higher in "Sub-Auroral" zone suggests the aurora may be visible in South Algonquin, weather permitting. Head to a safe location where you can view the northern horizon.