The stars will come out, and so will a stellar celestial show, as the Geminid meteor shower paints the night sky.
Star-watchers may have been glued to their TV sets and web-viewing screens to catch sight glimpses of favorite celebrities at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy benefit concert in New York City. But that show may pale in comparison to the spectacular display of in the far-reaching firmament on the night of Thursday, December 13, and early morning of Friday, December 14.
One of the two biggest meteor showers of the year, the Geminid phenomenon is expected to offer an expected 100 shooting stars or meteors per hour. The meteor shower is named for the Gemini constellation, from which it may originate.
This year, a second show, a meteor shower from the comet Wirtanen, bringing up to 30 meteors per hour, may occur on the same night. These meteor showers are likely caused by the solar heating and melting of icy comets, asteroids or space rocks.
Because a new moon is due around this time, the meteor shower activity will be more visible than ever.
Could the magnificent meteor shower herald the end of the world on December 21?
An ancient Mayan Prophecy may have foretold the destruction of the earth, or at least the close of the current era, on December 21, the meteor sky show does not seem to offer a scientific link.
Meteor showers are, after all, a fairly current annual occurrence around the time of the Winter Solstice in mid-December.
What’s the best way to watch the Geminid meteor shower?
During the Geminid meteor shower, earthly onlookers may or two meteors per minute. With meteorologists predicting clear skies for much of the nation, the space show is likely to be visible across the United States.
Right after sunset may be the best time to grab a gander of the Geminid display, although the activity is supposed to continue until dawn. A few stray remainders may be spotted on Friday night, December 14, particularly in remote areas away from city lights.
Space-watchers suggest folks bundle up, find a particularly dark spot outside, and expect to watch the Eastern or Northeastern sky for at least 20 minutes at a time, allowing their eyes to adjust and focus.
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