Dec 14, 2021

Stargazing on the Outer Banks

Featuring Some of the Darkest Skies on the East Coast

Stargazing on the Outer Banks can be an exceptional experience due to dark night skies that have limited light pollution. When the moon isn’t lighting up the sky, the Milky Way is visible from the Outer Banks year-round. Watching the moon rise over the ocean on a clear night can be equally as impressive. Get comfortable with the dark night sky over the Outer Banks for a magnificently unique OBX vacation experience.

obx stargazing and moonrise

Stargazing on the OBX

The Outer Banks is one of the best places for stargazing on the entire east coast. The narrow strip of land offers a unique opportunity to view the natural night sky. With the naked eye, the Milky Way and thousands of stars and even some planets can be seen on any given clear night. 

It’s not uncommon to observe a shooting star, or meteor, from the Outer Banks as well. Seeing a shooting star requires patience, as you may have to spend some time staring up at the sky at the appropriate place and moment. 

If clear skies are in the forecast during a meteor shower, stargazers on the Outer Banks are in for a treat. Most annual meteor shower peak dates for the Outer Banks are during the Fall, Winter, and Spring. However, the Perseids, which peaks in mid-August over the OBX, are one of the brighter meteor showers of the year. 

kill devil hills stargazing

Watch the Moon Rise on the OBX

Watching the full moon rise over the Outer Banks is a gorgeous sight to behold. Head down to the beach to watch the moon rise over the ocean with the cool sand under your feet. The moon seems to shine even brighter in the dark night sky over the ocean. 

Check our tide chart for the moonrise time during your OBX vacation, and a calendar of the moon phases by date and location can be found here. Each month’s full moon also has a name, which is rooted in Native American, Colonial American, and other North American traditions dating back generations. Although moon names are not commonly used nowadays, they’re a fun way to keep track of the moon throughout the seasons of the year. 

Catch a Rocket Launch

The Outer Banks’ location on the edge of the U.S. makes it an ideal location to watch a rocket launch. If conditions are right, rocket launches can be a really neat event to observe. To see if there will be a rocket launch visible on the Outer Banks happening during your stay, check the launch schedules for NASA Wallops Flight Facility and SpaceX.

obx moonrise

Enjoy an Evening Out After Watching the Night Sky

After stargazing or watching the moonrise, head into town for some fun. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away to live music or simply grab a drink at a low-key establishment, there’s an Outer Banks nightlife spot perfect for your group to visit before retreating to your vacation home for the night. 

beach fire stargazing

Courtney Wisecarver

Courtney Wisecarver

Dec 14, 2021

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