Meteor Shower December 13-14 2010?

The annual Geminid meteor shower is set to peak in the late hours of December 13 and early hours of December 14, 2010. According to The AP, astronomers predict that it will be the best meteor shower of the year, with over 100 blazing meteors streaking through the sky each hour.

The show gets its name from the constellation Gemini, because the meteors appear to stream from near the constellation's bright star Castor.

Meteor showers typically stem from dust and rocks that comets shed as they approach the sun. They heat up, the ices they carry flash from ice to gas, and as the gas vents through the comet's surface, it carries dust and debris with it.

What are some tips I should follow in order to see the December meteor shower on the 13 and 14? I always miss it because it is too cloudy or because it rains.

asked by Kelsey in Astronomy & Space | 2965 views | 12-14-2010 at 07:20 AM

The Gemenid meteor shower will wow stargazers on December 13 and 14, when the debris shed by 3200 Phaethon enters Earth's atmosphere, creating a swarm of shooting stars.

The best viewing takes place between midnight and dawn, because that's when the Earth is heading into the debris stream from an observer's viewpoint.

Under a clear, dark sky, you may see one or two shooting stars per minute from about 11 p.m. local time Monday until dawn Tuesday morning. If you live under the artificial skyglow of light pollution the numbers will be less, but the brightest meteors will still shine through.

If you live near a brightly lit city, drive away from the glow of city lights and toward the constellation from which the meteors will appear to radiate.

answered by Marlee | 12-14-2010 at 07:21 AM

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