Wild Under the Stars - Animal Park at Conservators Center
16–17 November 2021

Wild Under the Stars

Leonids Meteor Shower
Wild Under The Stars Map

With some of the darkest skies in the greater Triangle & Triad area, the Animal Park at the Conservators Center offers superb viewing conditions for astronomical events and phenomena. Late on Tuesday, 16 November 2021 and into Wednesday morning, join us in the Activity Field and green space by our Visitors Center to view the Leonids Meteor Shower! You’ll have an unobstructed view of the sky with opportunities to view the entire event throughout the late night and early morning. This time of year also presents excellent viewing opportunities for the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune as well as many other Deep-Sky Objects, like other galaxies, nabulæ, and binary star systems with your binoculars or telescope!

What makes this viewing party unique, however, is the company you’ll keep. Our park of over 70 animals features a large population of vocal, social carnivores including lions and wolves, as well as other vocal species like jungle cats, a coyote, and New Guinea singing dogs, who will all keep you enthralled with their chorus of howls, roars, and calls. It’s an experience unlike any other!

Join us at 5:30 pm for a unique Twilight Tour through the park before the viewing party begins at 11:00 pm, or skip the tour to set up camp with your tent and telescope at 10 pm! Whichever option you choose, you’ll have an excellent viewing opportunity of this event and the other celestial objects available in the night sky. (Please keep in mind that there is no meal provided as part of this event. Guests who come for the Twilight Tour are encouraged to bring a dinner meal or to plan to pick up a dinner meal in Mebane, NC after the tour and return for the Viewing Party.)

Please note: The Wild Under the Stars Twilight Tour is different from our traditional Twilight Tours, this is an abbreviated tour that lasts roughly 45 minutes to an hour and serves to introduce the tour group to the animals in the park and the sounds they make that visitors may hear throughout the night. We do not discuss many science-heavy topics nor animal-stories. For these experiences, we encourage visitors to return to the Park for one of our standard Adventure Tours during daylight hours.

Please note that Wild Under the Stars dates are subject to local weather and viewing conditions. Cancellations due to weather will be made at least 24 hours in advance of viewing events, please keep an eye on our social media accounts and check your email for details before each event.
COVID-19 Precautions: Campers are asked to keep Camp Sites a minimum of 12 feet in distance from each other in the Activity Field, and all participants are asked to observe 6 feet minimum Social Distancing guidelines as directed by the CDC. Masks are REQUIRED.

 
 

Wild Under the Stars offers a discounted (additional purchase) pre-viewing party tour through the Animal Park for visitors who will be purchasing admission to the starlight viewing party and also, for an additional fee, the opportunity to camp out all night and enjoy the entire meteor shower. All participants will have access to the Visitors Center throughout the event for restroom access.

Pre-registration is required, guests will not be admitted without a ticket.

Viewing party event is contingent on weather conditions, cancellation due to weather will be communicated to ticket holders by email 24 hours in advance if necessary. Guests are responsible for bringing their own telescope, binoculars, or other viewing equipment, The Animal Park will not have extras available for use. Please arrive on time to set up your viewing equipment, our exterior lights will go RED at 10pm.

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Event Viewing Opportunity

Leonids Meteor Shower

The Leonids Meteor Shower, which peak during mid-November each year, are considered to be a major shower though meteor rates are often as low as about 15 meteors per hour. The Leonids are bright meteors and can also be colorful. They are also fast: Leonids travel at speeds of 44 miles (71 kilometers) per second, and are considered to be some of the fastest meteors out there.NASA

In 2021, the expected peak night of the Leonids is from late night November 16 until dawn November 17. The bright waxing gibbous moon will be out nearly all night long. It’ll set in the wee hours before sunrise.EarthSky

Leonids are also known for their fireballs and earthgrazer meteors. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of cometary material. Fireballs are also brighter, with magnitudes brighter than -3. Earthgrazers are meteors that streak close to the horizon and are known for their long and colorful tails.NASA

The pieces of space debris that interact with our atmosphere to create the Leonids originate from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. It takes comet Tempel-Tuttle 33 years to orbit the sun once.NASA

Other Viewing Opportunities

Moon

Luna (Selene) is the closest body to our planet in our solar system and Earth's only natural satellite.

Phase: Waxing Gibbous

Magnitude: -5.21

Sets: 5:22pm Rises: 6:10am

Venus

Venus is the second planet in our solar system.

Magnitude: -5.11 Rises: 11:39am Sets: 8:56pm

Jupiter

Jupiter is the fifth, and largest, planet in our solar system.

Magnitude: -2.4 Rises: 1:57pm Sets: 12:41am

Saturn

Saturn is the sixth planet in our solar system.

Magnitude: 1.1 Rises: 1:08pm Sets: 11:19pm

Uranus

Uranus is seventh planet in our outer solar system.

Magnitude: 5.6 Sets: 5:22pm Rises: 7:03am

Neptune

Neptune is eighth and final planet in our outer solar system.

Magnitude: 7.9 Rises: 3:09pm Sets: 2:51am

Event Viewing Opportunity

Leonids Meteor Shower

The Leonids Meteor Shower, which peak during mid-November each year, are considered to be a major shower though meteor rates are often as low as about 15 meteors per hour. The Leonids are bright meteors and can also be colorful. They are also fast: Leonids travel at speeds of 44 miles (71 kilometers) per second, and are considered to be some of the fastest meteors out there.NASA

In 2021, the expected peak night of the Leonids is from late night November 16 until dawn November 17. The bright waxing gibbous moon will be out nearly all night long. It’ll set in the wee hours before sunrise.EarthSky

Leonids are also known for their fireballs and earthgrazer meteors. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of cometary material. Fireballs are also brighter, with magnitudes brighter than -3. Earthgrazers are meteors that streak close to the horizon and are known for their long and colorful tails.NASA

The pieces of space debris that interact with our atmosphere to create the Leonids originate from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. It takes comet Tempel-Tuttle 33 years to orbit the sun once.NASA

Other Viewing Opportunities

Moon

Luna (Selene) is the closest body to our planet in our solar system and Earth's only natural satellite.

Phase: Waxing Gibbous

Magnitude: -5.21

Sets: 5:22pm Rises: 6:10am

Venus

Venus is the second planet in our solar system.

Magnitude: -5.11 Rises: 11:39am Sets: 8:56pm

Jupiter

Jupiter is the fifth, and largest, planet in our solar system.

Magnitude: -2.4 Rises: 1:57pm Sets: 12:41am

Saturn

Saturn is the sixth planet in our solar system.

Magnitude: 1.1 Rises: 1:08pm Sets: 11:19pm

Uranus

Uranus is seventh planet in our outer solar system.

Magnitude: 5.6 Sets: 5:22pm Rises: 7:03am

Neptune

Neptune is eighth and final planet in our outer solar system.

Magnitude: 7.9 Rises: 3:09pm Sets: 2:51am

3-Day Clear Sky Forecast

Click on the forecast image above to go to www.ClearDarkSky.com to learn how to read the forecast graphic.

Admission & Tour

$18

5:30p–3:30am

Join us for a pre-viewing party tour through the Animal Park, where you'll learn about our residents. Then, enjoy the viewing party in the Green Space and Activity Field just outside the park next to our Visitors Center.

Camp Out

$23

10p–8am

Spend the whole night with us by camping over night! You'll be able to enjoy the entire meteor shower from sun down to sun up.

The Full Experience

$30

5:30p–8am

Get the whole experience by coming for the pre-viewing party tour and camping out overnight to enjoy the full viewing party and the entire meteor shower.

Full Experience Attendees are invited to arrive early to set up their campsite before the tour begins at 6pm.



Please note: The Wild Under the Stars Twilight Tour is different from our traditional Twilight Tours, this is an abbreviated tour that lasts roughly 45 minutes to an hour and serves to introduce the tour group to the animals in the park and the sounds they make that visitors may hear throughout the night. We do not discuss many science-heavy topics nor animal-stories. For these experiences, we encourage visitors to return to the Park for one of our standard Adventure Tours during daylight hours.
COVID-19 Precautions: Campers are asked to keep Camp Sites a minimum of 12 feet in distance from each other in the Activity Field, and all participants are asked to observe 6 feet minimum Social Distancing guidelines as directed by the CDC. Masks are REQUIRED.

Viewing Accessories

This may be your first astronomical viewing party, or you may be a seasoned veteran, but we have a few suggestions to help you enjoy the night under the stars regardless of your experience level. You may want to bring some, if not all, of the following items with you to the star party:

  • A Camera
  • Binoculars
  • A Telescope
  • Folding Chairs
  • Blankets
  • Star Maps
  • A Compass
  • Insect Repellant (seasonally)

Believe it or not, all the photos on this page were taken with simple 30-second exposures at the Animal Park, so a camera is a great, fun way to enjoy a star party. See what you can capture while you watch the sky! Binoculars and telescopes are also a great way to enjoy the evening under the stars for obvious reasons, even if the star party's main event is a meteor shower, it's always fun to get a closer look at planets, nebulæ, stars, the Moon, and other objects in the night sky. Chairs, blankets, and towels are an essential part of any star party viewing experience, as well as something to stay hydrated and snack on. And a star map and compass will help keep yourself oriented and find what you're looking for in the night sky! Dress appropriately for the season and the weather, and come prepared to enjoy the evening.

You are welcome to bring a propane camp grill to cook out on site. Charcoal grills are not allowed. Grills must be manned and maintained at all times.

Please remember the golden rule of any outdoor excursion, "Pack In, Pack Out." Dispose of any trash you generate in the appropriate receptacles at the Visitors Center to help keep our Green Space clean.

Upcoming Wild Under the Stars Dates

Thanks to your amazing feedback, Wild Under the Stars is now a quarterly event at The Animal Park! Please share your experiences with us, tell your friends and family, and help us make this recurring event a success!

Plan your next Wild Under the Stars experience at the Animal Park at the Conservators Center! This Quarterly Event takes place every few months throughout the year focused around special astronomical events. Upcoming dates are listed below, pay special attention to this page and the Animal Park newsletter for announcements and updates for when reservations open for each event!



2021 Wild Under the Stars Dates:

  • April 22–23 : Lyrids & π-Puppid Meteor Showers
  • July 30–31 : Southern δ-Aquariid & α-Capricornid Meteor Showers
  • August 12–13 : Perseids Meteor Shower
  • November 16–17 : Leonid Meteor Shower

Please note: The Wild Under the Stars Twilight Tour is different from our traditional Twilight Tours, this is an abbreviated tour that lasts roughly 45 minutes to an hour and serves to introduce the tour group to the animals in the park and the sounds they make that visitors may hear throughout the night. We do not discuss many science-heavy topics nor animal-stories. For these experiences, we encourage visitors to return to the Park for one of our standard Adventure Tours during daylight hours.
COVID-19 Precautions: Campers are asked to keep Camp Sites a minimum of 12 feet in distance from each other in the Activity Field, and all participants are asked to observe 6 feet minimum Social Distancing guidelines as directed by the CDC. Masks are REQUIRED.

Admission & Tour

$18

5:30p–3:30am

Join us for a pre-viewing party tour through the Animal Park, where you'll learn about our residents. Then, enjoy the viewing party in the Green Space and Activity Field just outside the park next to our Visitors Center.

Camp Out

$23

10p–8am

Spend the whole night with us by camping over night! You'll be able to enjoy the entire meteor shower from sun down to sun up.

The Full Experience

$30

5:30p–8am

Get the whole experience by coming for the pre-viewing party tour and camping out overnight to enjoy the full viewing party and the entire meteor shower.

Full Experience Attendees are invited to arrive early to set up their campsite before the tour begins at 6pm.

Please note: The Wild Under the Stars Twilight Tour is different from our traditional Twilight Tours, this is an abbreviated tour that lasts roughly 45 minutes to an hour and serves to introduce the tour group to the animals in the park and the sounds they make that visitors may hear throughout the night. We do not discuss many science-heavy topics nor animal-stories. For these experiences, we encourage visitors to return to the Park for one of our standard Adventure Tours during daylight hours.
COVID-19 Precautions: Campers are asked to keep Camp Sites a minimum of 12 feet in distance from each other in the Activity Field, and all participants are asked to observe 6 feet minimum Social Distancing guidelines as directed by the CDC. Masks are REQUIRED.

Viewing Accessories

This may be your first astronomical viewing party, or you may be a seasoned veteran, but we have a few suggestions to help you enjoy the night under the stars regardless of your experience level. You may want to bring some, if not all, of the following items with you to the star party:

  • A Camera
  • Binoculars
  • A Telescope
  • Folding Chairs
  • Blankets
  • Star Maps
  • A Compass
  • Insect Repellant (seasonally)

Believe it or not, all the photos on this page were taken with simple 30-second exposures at the Animal Park, so a camera is a great, fun way to enjoy a star party. See what you can capture while you watch the sky! Binoculars and telescopes are also a great way to enjoy the evening under the stars for obvious reasons, even if the star party's main event is a meteor shower, it's always fun to get a closer look at planets, nebulæ, stars, the Moon, and other objects in the night sky. Chairs, blankets, and towels are an essential part of any star party viewing experience, as well as something to stay hydrated and snack on. And a star map and compass will help keep yourself oriented and find what you're looking for in the night sky! Dress appropriately for the season and the weather, and come prepared to enjoy the evening.

You are welcome to bring a propane camp grill to cook out on site. Charcoal grills are not allowed. Grills must be manned and maintained at all times.

Please remember the golden rule of any outdoor excursion, "Pack In, Pack Out." Dispose of any trash you generate in the appropriate receptacles at the Visitors Center to help keep our Green Space clean.

Upcoming Wild Under the Stars Dates

Thanks to your amazing feedback, Wild Under the Stars is now a quarterly event at The Animal Park! Please share your experiences with us, tell your friends and family, and help us make this recurring event a success!

Plan your next Wild Under the Stars experience at the Animal Park at the Conservators Center! This Quarterly Event takes place every few months throughout the year focused around special astronomical events. Upcoming dates are listed below, pay special attention to this page and the Animal Park newsletter for announcements and updates for when reservations open for each event!



2021 Wild Under the Stars Dates:

  • April 22–23 : Lyrids & π-Puppid Meteor Showers
  • July 30–31 : Southern δ-Aquariid & α-Capricornid Meteor Showers
  • August 12–13 : Perseids Meteor Shower
  • November 17–18 : Leonid Meteor Shower

 
Important Information

Need to Know Before You Go

Details For Your Visit to the Animal Park at the Conservators Center

Accessibility, Safety, and Pets


The Animal Park is not wheelchair accessible; however, accessibility accommodations are available for visitors with mobility issues. Please note that we do not allow unauthorized vehicles, including scooters or motorized wheelchairs, in the park. You can find more information about disability accommodations and handicapped access in the Tour FAQ on our Plan Your Visit page. Please note that strollers are also not permitted in the park.

If you are planning to visit the Animal Park, please take a moment to review and complete our online tour waiver. If you would like, you can also download and print the waiver and photography release forms to fill out and complete prior to your arrival. Waivers will also be available in the gift shop for visitors to complete during the check-in process.


For safety reasons, the Animal Park does not allow visitors to bring pets on site. Any visitor who brings an animal to the Park will be asked to leave immediately. We do not allow visitors to leave animals unattended in a vehicle at any time of year.

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