Spring stargazing at Folly Beach

Folly Beach
Folly Beach night sky | Photo by @johnnabhansen

Happy National Space Day, Charleston. Folly Beach offers some of the clearest night sky views in the Lowcountry. The popular beach is a dark site away from city lights, allowing you to peer into space. Depending on timing, you can spot constellations, shooting stars, and even the Milky Way.

The moon is waning in the Lowcountry, so there’s less moonlight to obscure your view tonight. This evening, you can spy constellations like the Big Dipper, Virgo, Ursa Major + Leo if you know where to look. Follow this May constellation guide created by NASA to find each of these star formations and more at Folly.

The Eta Aquariids meteor is currently at its peak and is visible from the Lowcountry — producing 10-15 meteors per hour. This cosmic event is best viewed in the hours before sunrise, so take an early morning trip to the beach and you may see a shooting star.

The core of the Milky Way is most visible in late summer at Folly Beach. However, you can glimpse the galaxy now if you know when + where to look. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness before beginning your search around midnight. The Milky Way may appear as a cloudy river of stars just visible over the eastern horizon.

If possible, bring binoculars or a telescope for a closer look at the night sky. 🔭

Want more places to stargaze? Go here for several starry spots around Charleston.