A Cold Shower… of Meteors

If you are lucky enough to have clear skies the next few nights, you may want to brave the cold and go out any time after 9.00pm and look to the east-northeast. If you are lucky enough, you will see one of the best meteors showers of the year.

The Geminid meteor shower peaks this year on December 14th at 11.45am, which means from Michigan it’s a safe bet to try and observe either the night of the 13th or the 14th. With the possibility of seeing over 100 meteors per hour, this is one of the stand-out showers of the year, and rarely disappoints (unlike the Perseids). The nice thing about this year’s shower is the moon will not interfere at all, as it is setting before 10pm EST.

Gemini rises early in the evening sky, and the radiant – where the meteors appear to be coming from – is overhead by 2am. As a bonus you’ll have the bright reddish-orange beacon that is Mars keeping you company during the shower.

The really interesting thing is — these meteors don’t come from a comet. They appear to be from an asteroid. For more information about this, the shower, and a graphic on where to look, please check out Asteroid Shower article at Science @ NASA.


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