Hot tubs are warm and cozy but they also offer the perfect seat to watch the stars. If you have children who are interested in learning more about space or want to indulge your own interest in the constellations, your hot tub is a great spot to relax, gather the family and enjoy the sky together.
The best time to stargaze is right before, during and after a new moon when the stars will be the brightest. Though summer is generally associated with staring at the stars, spring, fall and winter are actually the seasons to stargaze. Generally, the darker the sky, the brighter the stars.
Why Different Constellations Throughout the Year?
Due to the earth’s orbit around the sun, we see different constellations in summer then we do in winter. The constellations gradually shift to the west as the year progresses. The way the sun appears to rise and set from the east to the west is the same way that the stars appear to move across our sky.
A seasonal constellations list provides great insight into which constellations are easily seen year round and where to look. Some guides also talk about the history of the constellations and how they’re still used as guides in many cultures today. A quick internet search for constellation guides will help you find the best one to use depending on your level of interest.
Tips for the Best Stargazing
There are a few things you can do to get the most out of your stargazing experience. Here are some helpful tips that will ensure you and your family enjoy stargazing to its full potential:
- Get a pair of binoculars. They’re an ideal middle ground between your eyes and expensive telescopes and help you see the constellations up close.
- Know when to look. Doing a quick search for stargazing dates will provide a list of upcoming events to watch out for, such as meteor showers. Circle those dates on your calendar and make it an event for the whole family to participate in.
- Get a phone app such Night Sky, Skyview or Skysafari. These apps will help you know when to look but also what to look for.
- If you want to keep it old school, get a star chart. You’ll learn more from them and can even print them off to bring outside with you
Best Ways to Stargaze from Your Hot Tub
To start, you need to be able to see the sky, so consider not covering the area over your hot tub to get the most out of your viewing. Position wise, you want your hot tub away from as much light as possible, whether from other houses or streetlights. Have your stargazing app open and waterproof phone case on to ensure that you can utilize the constellation apps while also protecting your phone.
Common Constellations to Look for When Stargazing
Astronomers officially recognize 88 different constellations. Though you may not be able to see them all from your hot tub, there are a few common ones that you can. Ursa Major is known for its most famous feature, the Big Dipper. Also check out Ursa Minor, Orion and Cassiopeia.
Keep an eye out for some of these other constellations as well:
- The 12 zodiac sign constellations
- Perseus Double Cluster
- Andromeda Galaxy
- The Summer Triangle
Season specific, you can watch for Canis Major, Cetus Eridanus, Gemini, Orion, Perseus and Taurus in the winter. In the spring, check out Bootes, Cancer, Crater, Hydra, Leo and Virgo. During summer, Aquila, Cygnus, Hercules, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius and Scorpius are most prominent. And in the fall, Andromeda, Aquarius, Capricornus, Pegasus and Pisces can be seen.
If you’re searching for a hot tub to enjoy the stars from, contact the specialists at Oakville Home Leisure. They’ll help you get the hot tub of your dreams to start planning your stargazing night and other leisurely activities with the family in no time.