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domingo, diciembre 13, 2009

TONIGHT: Geminid Meteor Shower

The Geminids

Tonight is the Geminid meteor shower. And it could be a remarkable event.

National Geographic reports:

Late tonight is the peak of the year's most prolific annual cosmic fireworks show—the Geminid meteor shower.

The meteor shower has been growing in intensity in recent decades and should be an even better holiday treat than usual this year, since it's falling in a nearly moonless week. snip...

the Geminid show should feature as many as 140 shooting stars per hour between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

The Geminids are slow meteors that create beautiful long arcs across the sky—many lasting a second or two.

Favoring observers in the Northern Hemisphere, the Geminids are expected to be most frequent within two hours of 1:10 a.m. ET in the wee hours of Monday.

The shower's radiant—the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to originate—is the constellation Gemini, which rises above the eastern horizon after 9 p.m. local time.

Astronomers recommend observers head outside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time.

To make this work, you need eteors and a clear sky. Here's the weather map for 1 am in the US (ET):

This doesn't look great for New England and Eastern New York. But it's also not bad enough to give up the ghost. Not yet. Maybe things will clear. And you'll notice that there are large areas of the US where viewing should be perfect, a cold, clear night.


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