Sky-watchers are in for an early holiday treat as mid-December marks the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, the most prolific and mysterious annual cosmic fireworks show.
The meteor shower has been growing in intensity in recent decades and should be better than usual this year because it falls during a nearly moonless week.
Dozens of shooting stars per hour should streak across the night sky on the night of December 13 and into the early hours of December 14, making the Geminids one of the strongest and most reliable celestial shows around!
And if this wasn’t enough NASA astronomers are predicting a surprise appearance of a new meteor shower – that may add an extra 20 to 30 meteors per hour on top of the Geminids. Computer models are predicting that Earth will be slamming into a debris stream of short-period comet Wirtanen (disc.1948). Best time to look out for these new shooting stars is expected to be early evening on the 13th. Will it pan out? Only way to know is to look up and watch the sky show.
Read the rest of my Geminids story at National Geographic News
Skywatching Extra: If you are in Montreal area on Thursday (Dec.13) night then come join me for a meteor shower party at the Morgan Arboretum and hosted by RASC Montreal. I will be giving a short lecture on meteor showers and then if skies are clear we will watch for shooting stars! Details here.
Tags: Geminids, meteor shower
Posted in Meteors, Solar System | Comments Off on Best Meteor Shower of 2012 this Week!