Astronomy Forecast 2023

Hi everyone! We’re lucky that Ogden Group Camp doesn’t have much light pollution, and I’d like to give you a forecast for what you can hope to see this year, assuming the clouds cooperate.

The sun will be setting a little after 8 PM, and it will be fully dark for stargazing around 10 PM. Sunrises will be a little after 6 AM, though it will begin to get lighter around 4 AM.

The moon is new on the 16th, and so it will be a thin crescent for camp this year. On Thursday, it will set around 9 PM, and on Sunday it will set around 10 PM. Once it’s set, we will have some amazingly dark skies.

For planets: If you look to west after sunset, you’ll see Mars, which will set around 9 PM. There’s a chance you might also be able to see Mercury right after sunset, low in the sky, if you can get away from the trees. It sets at about 8:40 PM. Saturn will be rising in the east around sunset, and will be visible in the sky all night long. Jupiter will rise a little later, about 11 PM, to follow Saturn across the sky. Venus will only be rising just before the sun, and probably won’t be visible.

The Perseid meteor shower peaked on the 12th, but we should still be seeing several per hour. They’re named the Perseids because they appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus as they streak across the sky. Perseus lies between the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. This will be in the north-northeast just after sunset, and rising higher as the night goes on.

Expect to be able to see our own galaxy, the Milky Way, stretching across the summer sky. If you wait the full 40 minutes it takes for your eyes to get fully dark acclimated, you may even be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy to the northeast. It will be faint, and you may need to avert your eyes slightly and look at it using the more sensitive rods away from the center of your vision.

You can expect to see many faint satellites throughout the night. We won’t be getting any great passes of the International Space Station or Tiangong (Chinese Space Station), unfortunately. If you do stay up past 3 AM, you will likely see a few different Starlink satellite trains. These will look like a trail of dots following each other in a line across the sky over the course of 5 to 20 minutes.

I’m bringing a small telescope and some binoculars, so if the weather does cooperate, come find me and we can try to look at some deep sky objects.

Rise and Set times: Night Sky Map & Planets Visible Tonight in Bend
Perseid Meteor Shower: Perseids Meteor Shower 2023
Satellite Predictions:
Viewing Condition Forecast: LaPine State Park Clear Sky Chart
another Viewing Condition Forecast: Astronomy Seeing La Pine - meteoblue