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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Geminid Meteor Shower 2009


Geminid meteor shower 2009 radiant
The 2009 Geminid meteor shower is coming up pretty soon. Are you ready for it?

Occurring every year in mid-December, the Geminid meteor shower is commonly referred to as the most reliable meteor shower of the year. That is, it almost always puts on a great show! This year the peak is on the night of December 13-14, 2009. The illustration at right shows the shower's radiant position and where to look for meteors. This year should be an excellent year to view the Geminids, since the Moon will not be visible at night. I also posted an article on Universe Today (where I am now a writer, by the way) with tips for viewing the Geminid meteor shower. Below is some quick information on how to view the 2009 Geminid meteor shower.

When?


The Geminid meteor shower has a very broad maximum peak. The night of December 13th, 2009 will most likely be the best night to observe the meteor shower. The best time to view a meteor shower is in the late night to early morning hours. This is because as the Earth rotates, we are moving away from the meteors during dusk and moving toward them during dawn. Therefore, a viewing time of 2 AM local time can often be the best time to view meteor showers. If this is inconvenient, however (we all have to sleep sometime), the meteors will be visible starting at dusk.

Where?


So to see these meteors, just go outside after 10 PM local time or so, and sit in a reclining lawn chair or other comfortable seat. Bring nice, warm clothes and dress in layers, because its going to be cold. Face your chair to the East and look about half-way to overhead to see the most meteors. If you can see enough meteors, try and find the shower's radiant (trace each meteor backwards to find the radiant). The Geminids are also one of the few meteor showers that regularly display colored meteors, also, with colors ranging from green to blue, and sometimes even yellowish.

Clear skies!

11 comments:

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