In 2020, the Leonid Meteor Shower will be visible in the skies above Texas from early November to the end of the month, with the peak weekend being November 13-15th, and the meteor shower peaking on November 15th and 16th, with up to 15-20 meteors per hour. The new moon is on November 15th, allowing for the darkest skies during the Leonid’s peak, and creating what will hopefully be outstanding conditions to watch the meteor shower!
While you should be able to spot some meteors at any dark location away from city lights, here are some of the darkest skies in Texas, where you’ll be able to really be amazed by the show!
Frisco Starfest is November 14th at the Frisco Commons Park. Join local astronomers to watch the night skies! FREE
Cedar Hill Starbolt is Saturday, November 21st at JW Williams Park in Cedar Hill. FREE
Meridian State Park and Cleburne State Park are both nice parks near DFW, with skies rated about 5.
Hubbard City Lakes Park in Hubbard is a city-owned park with a scale of about 6 – 7. They allow camping and it’s never busy, which makes for great stargazing. You’ll usually see only a few other stargazers or local astronomy groups.
Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park are one of the darkest places in Texas, with a 1 rating on the Bortle Dark Sky Rating Scale.
Star Parties at the McDonald Observatory must be booked online, and they fill up months in advance.
In the Texas Hill Country
West of Austin and San Antonio, check out Enchanted Rock and South Llano River State Park for a perfect place to stay awake and watch the night skies! South Llano State Park is offering a socially-distanced stargazing event in 30 minute increments on the 14th. Reservations are required. The Eagle Eye Observatory at Canyon of the Eagles in Burnet offers private observatory sessions with astronomer.
Padre Island National Park, Goose Island State Park and Sea Rim State Park all offer good viewing on the beach away from lights, at a scale of about 4-5.
In the Texas Panhandle
Caprock Canyons State Park and Copper Breaks State Park are your best bets, with a night sky of about 2! For great viewing at Caprock Canyons, hike into the primitive sites for the darkest skies!
Fort Griffin State Historic Site in Albany is always a great place to stargaze, with camping and a designated field for stargazers.
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