GEMINID METEOR SHOWER:
Earth is passing through a stream of debris from “rock comet” 3200
Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower. Around the world,
observers are counting as many as 60 shooting stars per hour, a number
which could increase sharply as the shower peaks on the night of Dec.
13-14. Wherever you live, the best time to look is during the dark
hours between local midnight and sunrise.
Oh My G-d! The sky is falling! Call Al Gore! This must be caused by Global Warming! It’s not yet 12/21!!!
Now to calm the fears of the doomsday worriers. The Geminids are an annual event.
The Geminids are a meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a “rock comet” orbit. This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet. The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around the 13th – 14th of the month, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of the 14th. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time. Geminids were first observed in 1862, much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids (36 AD) and Leonids (902 AD).
Which means it happens every year about this time. It is a beautiful sight if the weather allows and a great reason to take the kids outside for a view.
I hope you will have good seeing and a clear sky. The best thing about viewing the Geminids here in the Northern Hemisphere is the Hot Cocoa and cookies you get afterwards.