We’re fortunate that Ogden Group Camp is a relatively dark-sky site. It’s Bortle Class 2, which means you should be able to see the Milky Way and lots of other stars.
The bad news is that this year is a full moon (it will be full on Thursday night), which will wash out some of the stars. The trees will help some, at least.
There’s far more good news! The forecast is for clear skies for most nights. And the Perseid meteor shower will be peaking on Friday night. This is one of the better meteor showers of the year, peaking at up to 100 meteors per hour.
Perseid meteors can appear in any part of the sky, but will appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus. This will be to the NNE and just above the horizon shortly after dark, and will move up and to the E as the night goes on. The easiest way to find it is to look for Cassiopeia, which looks like a squished ‘W’ near the Little Dipper. But you might catch one looking in almost any direction. The green circle is the radiant point, and then the second image might help you locate it relative to the Little Dipper.
We also have a few prominent planets to look at:
- Saturn will be visible from dusk until dawn. It will be right next to the moon on Thursday night, and falling behind each subsequent night.
- Jupiter will be visible from about 10 PM until dawn. It will be to the east of Saturn (and significantly brighter). It will be right next to the moon on Sunday night.
- Mars will be visible from about midnight until dawn. It will be to the east of Jupiter, and will be right in the middle of the two in terms of brightness.
- Venus will be visible just before dawn, rising around 4:30 AM in the NNE. It will be the brightest object in the sky (aside from the moon) if you can see it over the tree tops.
Right now, it doesn’t look like the ISS will be visible passing overhead. Tiangong (the Chinese space station) might be faintly visible, but so low to the horizon that I don’t think it will get over the treetops. If it is visible, it will be to the south, and will appear to fade out partway across the sky as its orbit takes it into the earth’s shadow.
Sunset is around 8:25 PM, with the last light fading by about 10:20 PM. The sun will rise at about 5:55 AM, but the sky will start getting lighter around 4 AM.
I’ll be bringing some binoculars, and I know a few other people said they were too. There isn’t a formal astronomy happening, but feel free to find me and ask!