Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Just a quick note, the Geminid Meteor Shower peaks tonight. The Geminids usually give the more famous Perseids (which occur in August) a pretty good run for the money for the best meteor shower of the year (I have seen better displays from the Geminids on a regular basis). However, across much of the U.S., people would rather be outside at night in August than December!

Simply go out, lay down and look up. Scan the sky, no telescope or binoculars required. There will be a pretty bright Moon out tonight which makes meteors more difficult to see.

One nice thing about the Perseids is that they action picks up a little earlier in the night than for the Perseids (although it is better to watch later if you can). Since Earth is tilted away from the Sun in the winter, we turn into the meteor stream a bit earlier. Gemini, the radian of the meteor shower, clears the horizon by 8pm local time here in Tucson.

Looks like it will be raining here in Tucson tonight. Fortunately, the Geminids are a fairly wide debris stream, so it might still be worth checking out the next night. Bundle up everyone!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.


kkdither said...

I saw them once, coming home from a Christmas party about 15 years ago... they were spectacular, almost unworldly. I don't believe that I'll ever see a meteor shower that amazing again.

OrbsCorbs said...

Cloudy here. It would be cool to see them from the building's roof, if I could get up there.