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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Don't Miss the Year's Best Meteors

The Geminid Meteor Shower will peak on the night of Dec. 13-14, producing up to 120 meteors per hour. Unlike most meteor showers visible only at dawn, the Geminids can be seen before midnight in many areas.

The moon will be a waning crescent that won’t rise until very late on the long, dark night of December 13–14, when the Geminid meteor shower should be at its peak. This annual shower is as reliable as the Perseids of August and usually a bit richer.

Moreover, you don’t have to wait up to the predawn hours to see the Geminids at their best. Most meteor showers are strongest before the first light of dawn, because that’s when your side of Earth faces forward in the planet’s rush along its orbit and therefore plows through meteor streams head-on. Another way of saying this is that the radiants of most meteor showers are highest before dawn. The Geminid radiant, by contrast, is near Castor and Pollux some 30 degrees up in the eastern sky as early as 9PM (as seen from mid-northern latitudes). It transits near the zenith around 2AM. Click here for more info.


Beckie said...

Wow...cool. I'll be watching. Did you find that out when you found the answer on my WW today? Thanks a bunch. I've never heard of them before.



Antonette said...

No I get alerts on aol about anything happening in the sky. I researched and surfed the web to find out your answer.

Take Care!