We’re a week into the New Year of 2023 and it occurs to us here at the HAT Blog that there is a whole lot of “new” in this Year of the Rabbit. New Governor and Administration. New Legislature. New County Councils. Even a new eruption at Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii Island. We’re hard-pressed to make predictions about what 2023 will bring, so we’ll stick to something we can be certain about: the Hawaii Stargazing 2023 calendar and the upcoming Lyrids Meteor Shower.
How will officials deal with concerns about over-tourism, illegal vacation rentals, and manage the visitor industry in a way that balances the needs of Hawaii’s economy with the needs of the people, communities, resources, and visitors that comprise it? There’s no telling. But we can be certain that celestial phenomena will return to Hawaii’s skies throughout the year. Whatever changes are to come in 2023, we can always look to the heavens for a sense of real permanence.
Hawaii stargazing science
The Quarantid Meteor Shower has come and gone (peaking on January 3), but another night-time light show in the sky arrives with the Lyrids Meteor Shower peaking on April 22. This meteor shower is caused by debris from the Comet Thatcher, which is at this moment speeding through space away from our sun on its 417-year orbit. It won’t reach its closest point to the sun again until the year 2283.
2023 is an ideal year for viewing the Lyrids, as they will peak on April 22, the night of moonless sky. With clear skies, shooting stars will be visible in the north from pretty much anywhere in Hawaii. The show will be dimmed by light pollution in population centers like Waikiki, but even there a few of the more brilliant streaks can still be seen.
Looking back, too
The Lyrids Meteor Shower is considered by many experts to be the first documented meteor shower in history. It was first recorded 2600 years ago. Native Hawaiian culture has a deep connection to so-called “shooting stars”, with a handful of words to describe the appearance of streaking lights in the night sky, linking them to gods and ancestral spirits.
Meteors that appear during significant events, births in particular, are said to be powerful portents for the in the future. Remember that King Kamehameha the Great is believed to have been born during the return of Halley’s Comet in 1756. It is possible that astronomy is carved into ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs.
Predicting room rates, airfares, travel trends, and other unknowns about the future of Hawaii tourism is a fool’s errand for this humble blogger. That is best left to Aloha Bruce Fisher and the experts in the Hawaii Aloha Travel ohana. Tune into the Hawaii Vacations Podcast for the latest on Hawaii travel news.
Hawaii stargazing events are as sure as the tides. It’s comforting in its certainty. Do look up! And check back with us here for info on the significant Hawaii stargazing events that are yet to come in 2023. And if you’ll be enjoying a Hawaii vacation on April 22, 2023, pull up a chair or spread a blanket beneath the stars for galactic light show with the Lyrid Meteor Shower.