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Stargazing in Houston, TX

An observatory in southeastern Texas allows seeing the Milky Way and various space objects

Home to the world-renowned Space Center, Houston attracts many astronomy enthusiasts. Being a big city with lots of light pollution, Houston is obviously not an ideal place for stargazing. However, if you get away from the populated areas, southeastern Texas offers many sweet spots for constellation chasers.

Brazos Bend State Park is perhaps the favorite stargazing location for Houston residents. The large 4,897 ac (1,981 ha) state park along the Brazos River can be reached within less than a one-hour drive from the city. Due to its relatively remote location, Brazos Bend has become one of the best spots for dark skies on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The George Observatory is the main attraction in the Brazos Bend Park. Equipped with three large domed telescopes, the observatory is a great unpolluted place to educate yourself and get quality images from high-powered telescopes. Its 36-inch Gueymard Research Telescope is one of the largest in the country.

Depending on the month, visitors can observe different objects and phenomena: the Milky Way, Saturn’s rings, cloud belts on Jupiter, and meteors. The observatory offers astronomy classes and educational exhibits. Operated by the Houston Museum of Natural Science, The George Observatory is open year-round; however, it's available for visits on Saturdays only. Weekdays are reserved for groups. General admission to the observatory is $7.

In addition to Brazos Bend Park, there are many other stargazing spots in Texas, including those recognized by the International Dark Sky Association

Practical info

Where can one enjoy looking at the stars in the proximity of Houston?

Located an hour's drive from the city, Brazos Bend State Park offers an ideal location for stargazing near Houston. Due to its remote location, it is one of the best spots for dark skies on the Texas Gulf Coast. The park covers almost 5,000 acres along the Brazos River and features the George Observatory, which includes telescopes and educational exhibits for astronomy enthusiasts. Show more

Which place is preferred for stargazing by Houston residents?

Brazos Bend State Park is the best stargazing location near Houston, popular among Houstonians. The park has an expansive land area that covers thousands of acres. It offers stargazing enthusiasts a remote location with little to no light pollution. This includes access to the George Observatory, featuring large telescopes that are open for visits on Saturdays year-round, and the largest display of eyepieces in the southern United States. Show more

What are some celestial bodies and events visible from The George Observatory?

Visitors who drop by the George Observatory get to witness celestial phenomena and objects that differ based on season. Among these, one can see Meteors, Saturn's rings, cloud belts on Jupiter, and the Milky Way. The observatory has three large domed telescopes, and among them is the 36-inch Gueymard Research Telescope, one of the largest in the country. Astronomy enthusiasts can also take part in classes and see exhibits here. Show more

When is it recommended to pay a visit to the George Observatory?

The George Observatory's best visited at night times, during clear and dark skies of fall and winter months. The Milky Way is one of the constellations visible, among other celestial objects, making these seasons ideal for stargazing. For public access, the George Observatory has Saturdays available throughout the year, with the remaining weekdays reserved for private groups. Show more

Are there any alternate locations for stargazing in the Texas area?

There are multiple locations in Texas recognized by the International Dark Sky Association, apart from Brazos Bend State Park. Among some of the popular stargazing locations are The Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, McDonald Observatory, and Big Bend National Park. Visitors can engage in stargazing parties during new moon weekends at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, making it the prime location for astronomy enthusiasts. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen