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The stars have aligned for a great meteor show tonight

If the weather where you are is anything like it is in Texas, tonight and tomorrow could be fantastic for your inner stargazer. The moon is new, the sky over much of the US clear, and the dust and gravel remains from comet 3200 Phaethon, AKA the Geminid meteor shower, will streak across the night sky in spectacular fashion:

Patch– You might even want to get your umbrellas out for this one – the meteor showers are pretty intense. Over the decades the rates have increased, regularly spawning between 80 and 120 per hour at its peak on a clear evening. How spectacular is it? Just take a look at this video of the Geminid meteor shower. You can also look at some spectacular photos of the Geminids.

Earthsky.org reports the Geminids peak might be around 2 a.m. on Dec. 13 and 14, because that’s when the shower’s radiant point is highest in the sky as seen around the world. “With no moon to ruin the show, 2012 presents a most favorable year for watching the grand finale of the meteor showers,” Earthsky reports. “Best viewing of the Geminids will probably be from about 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on December 14.”

Comments

  1. fastlane says

    *sigh* This is definitely one night I wish I were living back in Tucson. We are going to be way to overcast here in the Pacific Northwet tonight.

  2. davidmc says

    I’ve just seen one, and its only 6.30pm. I will go back out later 11 ish, but the light pollution round our way (Manchester, just outside the M60 ring road) is awful, and its due to cloud over around midnight the peak is due at around 2am. At least the temperature should utch up a bit from the -2c at the moment.

  3. davidmc says

    Well, I had a walk out last night, around 23.30 ,lay on the nearest dark(ish) field, and saw two more before the cloud rolled in. It took longer to get wrapped up for the sub zero temperature than i spent in the field, barely enough time to smoke a roll up. Fuckin typical.

  4. StevoR says

    Sadly its been totally overcast last two nights in a row and still is here.

    OTOH, there’s still the Omicron Velid shower to look forward to peaking on the 25th Dec southern hemisphere – nothing see special happening that day after all is there? (I kid you not date o’ Omicron Velids ~wise anyhow.)

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