Another great celestial event is poised to light up the night sky. The annual Geminid
meteor shower will peak on the night of December 13 into the morning of the 14th.
As Earth crosses the debris field of asteroid 3200 Phaethon we will enjoy a predicted
rate of 120 meteors seen per hour or one every 30 seconds on average. Tiny particles
will enter our atmosphere at 35 km/sec producing long, slow and sometimes very bright
streaks vapourizing about 80 kilometres high. The very thin waning crescent moon
rising at 3:45 a.m. local time will not interfere with this year's display. I consider
this shower the best of the entire year.
Bundle up and enjoy nature in motion. You will be amazed.
Known as "The Backyard Astronomer", Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator and monthly
columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He is now honoured with
renaming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Twitter: @astroeducator or
email him at firstname.lastname@example.org