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Hawaiian Nights - Meteor Showers & Eclipses

Hawaii has the privilege of being in a prime location to observe several meteor showers each year. Nothing beats cuddling at anchor in a secluded bay and wishing on "falling stars." Meteors are actually nothing more than cosmic space dust. Most are about the size of a regular pebble and burn up in the earth's atmosphere long before reaching the surface. The much larger ones that actually make it through are meteorites. Every year while taking her annual orbit around the sun, the Earth passes through certain areas of the sky around the same time each year. So we also pass through those cosmic dust and debris fields on a regular basis. And that's what meteor showers are made of.

meteor shower through the Milky Way Hawaii Stargazing On any clear, moonless summer night (far from city lights) you'll see at least a few sporadic meteors. When we are fortunate enough to be on the water when this occurs, tens or hundreds of meteors can be observed over just a few hours. Being on the water on the right day and time is a sort of a celestial lottery. Projected peak dates or times may change as the earth draws nearer to the shower, so keep posted!

You can enjoy one of Nature's spectacular night time displays aboard a 42ft. private catamaran. We'll sail out far enough to be away from the influence of artificial lights. Next we will cruise parallel with the coastline, allowing our eyes to adjust to the darkness while enjoying the view of the Waianae Coast by starlight.

Observing these meteor showers form the sea could not be easier. You do not need any specialist equipment or knowledge, all you need are your eyes, and dark skies and to be onboard one of our overnight yacht cruises.

Daytime event - Lahaina Noon
(can't see your shadow at noon, sun straight overhead)

Honolulu 2012

May 26 12:28 p.m.

July 15 12:37 p.m.

As always, these predictions are to be treated with great care: timing and peak values may vary widely.

March 10 - 15 The “conjunction of the year.”

Venus and Jupiter shine together in the western sky at dusk. Jupiter shines at minus 2.1 magnitude, Venus at minus 4.4; the two are the brightest dots in the sky. On March 13 the two brightest planets will be only about three degrees apart from each other, or less than the width of two fingers held at arm’s length. Look west from 7:20 p.m. onwards; the planets set around 9:45 p.m..

Lyrid pre-dawn meteor shower -
Meteor Shower and Morning Wild Dolphin Encounter Overnighter

Peak: evening of April 21—22 .No interference from the moon 2012; the moon is just past new, and not visible at all.

Typical Lyrid meteors are nearly as bright as the main stars in the Big Dipper, which makes it a good shower meteor shower through the Milky Way Hawaii Stargazingfor both beginning and experienced observers. Lyrids are also known for bright meteors with persistent trails. We'll be leaving before dawn for prime meteor viewing; and when the sun rises snorkeling and wild dolphin swim (great seasonal time for dolphins)

Eta-Aquarids Overnighter, Early Morning Meteor Shower and Marine Wildlife Encounters - Peak: evening of May 5—6. This is the only 2012 shower with major interference, since the moon is full.

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower in early May is also known as Halley’s shower, because the meteors are produced by the detritus left by the comet of the same name.This is a fine, rich stream, but it is visible for only a few hours before dawn essentially from tropical and southern hemisphere sites. Fast and often bright meteors make this shower worthwhile, and many events leave glowing persistent trains after them. We'll be leaving in the afternoon to anchor in the remote and inviting waters of Makua Bay, bed down on deck or down in the cabins below and we'll wake you up for the shower's peak. Shortly after sun rises, breakfast, and a local spinner dolphin pod is highly likely to join us for a morning swim/snorkel... then back to the dock by 2 pm. All meals included. $545 per person...

Arietid daytime meteor shower! Streaming out of a point not far from the Sun, no date yet for 2012

The best time to look is just before dawn on Sunday morning when it may be possible to spot a small number of Arietids skimming the top of Earth's atmosphere. Such "Earthgrazing" meteors tend to be long, colorful, and very pretty.

"The Arietids are the strongest daylight shower of the year," notes Bob Lunsford of the American Meteor Society. "If you could see them through the sun's glare, you would count as many as 60 per hour. Also, don't forget that the daytime Zeta Perseids peak only two days later and are considered the second strongest daylight shower. In all my years of viewing I have never seen a Zeta Perseid, but I have seen a few Arietids. They have all been Earthgrazers and very impressive meteors."

Southern Delta Aquarid Meteor ShowerMeteor Shower and Morning Wild Dolphin Encounter Overnighter:

night of July 28-29 (i.e. stay up late on July 28). The moon is waxing gibbous and sets around 2:30 a.m. early on July 29 and 3:40am early on 30th. SOLD OUT

Up to 20 meteors per hour.  No interference from the moon, which I a waning crescent.  This one should be OK from the Hawaiian Islands but the view will be better from the southern hemisphere.

Perseids " The Greatest Show not on Earth"
August 12, 2012.
The peak occurs during a waxing crescent moon (33%) that sets at 11pm. overnighter and 2.5 hour charters available

This is the most famous of all meteor showers. The Perseids never fail to render an impressive display and, due to its summertime appearance, it tends to provide the majority of meteors seen by non-astronomy enthusiasts. A warm summer night on the ocean, coupled with bright shooting stars are enough to entice even the most armchair-bound astronomer onboard.

As of this writing, we will be leaving at 10 pm to catch the "earth-grazers" those fewer - but longer, bigger, and brighter trails, as well as the peak of the shower.

NASA Video on the Perseid Meteor Shower NOTE: While this video mentions a full moon for the Perseid Meteor Shower, that information is not true for the 2012 viewing season. The moon on the peak August evenings this year will be a fading crescent--perfect for catching sight of a lot of meteors!

Orionids -Meteor Shower and Morning Wild Dolphin Encounter Overnighter

*PEAK* October 21-22: No interference from waxing crescent moon, which is down long before prime shower viewing time

Every year in October Earth passes through a stream of dusty debris shed long ago by Halley's comet. This shower produces a (highly irregular) peak rate of 20 yellow and green meteors per hour, which are fast moving at 41.6 miles per second and are known to produce fireballs. A good show could be experienced on any morning from October 20 - 24, and some meteors may be seen any time from October 17 - 25. The nearly last quarter moon may hide some of the faintest meteors this year. Best viewing will be to the east after midnight.

We'll be leaving in the afternoon to anchor in the remote (dark skies!) and inviting waters of Makua Bay, bed down on deck or down in the cabins below and we'll wake you up for the shower's peak. Shortly after sun rises, breakfast, and a visit by a local pod spinner dolphins for a morning swim/snorkel... back to the dock by 2 pm. All meals included. $545 per person... Portion of proceeds to the Wlid Dolphi Foundation for conservation efforts.

October 29 - Jupiter at Opposition.

The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons. The giant planet will be a big and bright as it gets in the night sky. A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter's cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter's four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet.

November 8 - Asteroid 2005 YU55 Flyby.

An asteroid known as 2005 YU55 will make a close approach to the Earth. The large space rock, about 1,300 feet in diameter will pass closer than the Moon at 0.85 lunar distances. While it is not expected to pose a threat to the Earth, this extremely rare event presents a unique opportunity for amateur astronomers to observe the asteroid as it makes it closest approach to our planet. Many astronomy groups are planning to observe the event. Asteroids this large only pass close to the Earth about every 30 years.


Geminids - "Winter Fireworks" Peak: December 13 2012 The moon is new, so viewing conditions are excellent. , this charter is offered as an overnighter Dec. 12- 13...2012 is a great year to see the Geminids shooting stars from Hawaii

If you plan to watch only one meteor shower in 2012, make it the Geminids. Best views are from the water away from ambient light. Since peak time is time is between 2 and 3 am (100+ shooters per hour), we'll be doing an overnight charter. We'll depart Honolulu mid-day Dec. 12th to get to our remote anchorage and retur mid-day Dec. 13th after some nice morning snorkeling and/or marine wildlife encounters (it's whale season!).

Limited to six lucky passengers aboard our 50' yacht the Nautilus. Meals and drinks included.

The shower tends to gain strength after midnight and to climax at roughly 2:00 am in the morning. So look for the Geminids to be at their best after moonset. With maximums commonly reaching 50 or more meteors per hour, this is a glorious time of year in Hawaii to sprawl out on the deck of the Nautilus and take in the show.

Geminid meteors are believed to be associated with an asteroid, not a comet. Asteroids are dry hunks of metallic rock, while comets are the dirty snowballs of space, made up of ice, dust and rocky material. This shower has increased in intensity in recent years, so we could see dozens of these comparatively slow-moving meteors per hour.

Rates typically peak at 100-120/hour; this high activity lasts for several hours. It is certainly possible to see 80-100 Geminids in a single hour, along with 10-20 non-Geminids, but only from a very dark site!

December 14 - Makahiki (start of the Hawaiian year).

To mark the start of the Makahiki season: 1) wait for the star cluster of the Pleiades to rise at sunset, which occurs every year on November 17; 2) wait for the new moon that follows this sunset rising of the Pleiades, which occurs in 2012 on December 12; 3) wait for the first visible crescent moon that follows this new moon. This year, this slender crescent should be visible in the west at dusk on December 14, thus marking the start of the Makahiki season and of the Hawaiian year.

Quadrantid Meteor Shower January 3-4 2013

Typically, 40 or so bright, blue and fast (25.5 miles per second) meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, some blazing more than halfway across the sky. A small percentage of them leave persistent dust trains. This shower usually has a very sharp peak, usually lasting only about an hour.

The shower will peak this year on January 3, but some meteors will be visible from December 28 - January 7. The near first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving dark skies for what should be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Look for meteors radiating from the constellation Bootes.

Solar Eclipses

  • (partial) in Hawaii on March 9, 2016 & August 21, 2017!

Lunar Eclipses

  • June 3-4
    Partial lunar eclipse. Visible from Hawaiian Islands. During a partial lunar eclipse, part of the moon goes into the deep inner shadow of the earth. The moon looks like someone took a bite of out it. In Hawai‘i, stay up late on June 3; right after midnight, around 12:02 a.m.early on June 4 the partial phase will begin. At the peak of the partial eclipse, around 1am, it will look like a about a third of the moon is missing. This partial phase will end at 2:03am.
  • 11/28/12 (total)

Lunar eclipses occur when the earth comes in between the moon and sun. The 12/20/2010 eclipse starts at 7:30 PM. Darkening is not seen until about 8:30 PM, when the moon enters the deep inner shadow (umbra) of the earth. By 9:45 PM HST the total phase of this lunar eclipse begins. By this time, the moon will be dramatically darker and redder. This total phase, with the moon completely within the earth's umbra, will last till 10:52 What's really cool is that you get to go from a "full moon", to a dark copper colored one - while being able to see all the stars as if it was a "new" or totally dark moon.

Head out on the ocean with our constellation expert crew, to get away from ambient light. A portion of all proceeds are donated to the Wild Dolphin Foundation (we may see dolphins too!) for their conservation efforts. $95 per person, book now, seats sell out quickly.

Lunar Eclipse - August 28, 2007 Hawaii

General Tips and Guidelines for Sailing with Stars Charters

The main feature is of course the meteor shower and getting away from ambient light, safely. We'll sail out far enough to be away from the influence of artificial lights. Next we will cruise parallel with the coastline, allowing our eyes to adjust to the darkness while enjoying the view of the coast by starlight. Drinks and snacks are provided. Narration of the night skies with laser beam to point out constellations included.

For all night charters, we recommend jackets, and maybe long pants, socks and a favorite blankie. The night temperature averages in the mid '70s, but it may get chilly out on the water. We reach waiting list status quickly for these unique charters, so the sooner you book - the better.

$95 per person, 2 1/2hour semi-private sailing charters. We reach waiting list status quickly for these unique charters, so the sooner you book - the better. Thanks!

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Notice: Wild Side (complete terms and agreements) reserves the right to substitute vessels, and to seasonally modify departure and arrival times. Due to our popularity and limited group sizes, cancellations with less than 10 day notice and "No Shows" are subject to full charge. Prices quoted do not include state tax, harbor fees or fuel surcharge.

Although our sighting rates are at 90+% we cannot guarantee sightings, interaction with wild dolphins whales, snorkeling, nor ideal weather conditions. We reserve the right to not facilitate in-water OR shipboard encounters which we feel may compromise the well-being of our guests or ocean wildlife. All passengers are required to wear flotation devices.

Reservation Office hours: 8-4 (Hawaii Standard TIme)

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