Monday, December 10, 2012

Catch the Geminid Meteor Shower Dec 13-14, 2012

The Geminids are usually the last and one of the most prolific meteor showers of the year. the August Perseids is the other major meteor shower.  This December 13-14, the new moon will provide a dark sky, better providing a grand backdrop for these showers.

Also known as Falling Stars or Shooting Stars, a meteor shower appears as streaks of light when a meteorite enters the earth's atmosphere. A comet will pass too close to the sun and small bits of debris will break off leaving a trail of small pieces. When the earth rotates through the comet's path, these small pieces burn looking like falling stars.

When? December 13-14 starting at dusk with good viewing starting around 9 EST and best viewing around 1 am on the 14th.

What to wear? Dress warmly. It may not happen immediately.

Where to watch? If you are staying in a hotel the wonderful part about the Adirondack Park is there is very little residual light pollution. There will be plenty of quiet, dark spots to bring an folding chair. The alternative is in your own backyard. 

What to bring? Blankets, hats, folding chair, gloves, camera, telescope (if possible) and hot chocolate!

Did you know? NASA states that this meteor show may produce up to 120 meteors/hour!

See which member of your family can see the first meteor! Enjoy!

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™, which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the third guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities™.

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