||Geminid Meteor Shower|
||Hawaiian Islands Viewing|
|Date / Time:
||December 13/14 2017|
||The Geminid Meteor Shower, one of the year's strongest showers, is expected to peak before dawn on Thursday Dec. 14th. With a small crescent Moon, at around 6:00AM, we could see as many as 120 meteors ("shooting stars") per hour from a dark, clear viewing site. The meteors appear to originate or "radiate" from the constellation Gemini the Twins, near the bright star Castor. The highest rates come in the hours after midnight when Gemini appears high in the sky. Best viewing will probably be on Thursday morning, between 2 AM, (when bright Gemini twin stars, Castor & Pollux, are directly overhead), and dawn. The streaking meteors will only serve to highlight our viewing of the spectacular morning sky! Jupiter will appear just south of the Moon (at/after 5AM), with Mars to the west near Spica (the brightest star in Virgo). You DO NOT need a telescope or binoculars to see this, or any meteor shower. Just make sure you are warm & comfortable, (a lounge chair with blankets & a thermos with a hot beverage would be great), find a dark spot, & scan the sky for streaks of light!
Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes thru the path of a comet. The tiny bits of debris left behind by comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show as they enter (& burn up) in Earth's atmosphere.
The Geminids come from "3200 Phaethon," which many astronomers suspect is the nucleus of a dead comet (a rock-comet).
Maintained by Roz Reiner - Kauai, Hawaii
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