Tags: geminid | meteor | shower | moonlight

Geminid Meteor Shower Wows Stargazers Despite Near-Washout From Moon

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 08:29 AM

The Geminid meteor shower put on its usual light show over both hemispheres this weekend, but the moon prevented even better viewing by taking away from the event's normal glitz.

According to TimeandDate.com, the Geminid meteor shower can usually be seen from Dec. 4-17 with the best viewing date on or around Dec. 14. The shower gets its name from the constellation Gemini where the meteors seem to come from, the website noted.

National Public Radio said the best viewing this year came late Saturday into early Sunday as the dust from the asteroid streaked across the sky. The shower drew the attention to numerous stargazers on social media.









Bruce McClure, chief writer for EarthSky.org, said the moonlight was a particular problem with viewing the meteor shower this year. He said sky watchers can normally find more than 50 sightings per hour on a good night but the moonlight this year washed some of those away.

"A good percentage of these yellow-colored Geminid meteors are quite bright and will overcome the moonlit skies," McClure wrote. "Of course, you can always watch this shower during the evening hours before moonrise. That's the best time to catch an earthgrazer."

TimeandDate.com wrote that the Geminid meteor shower comes from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which takes about 1.4 years to circle the sun, making it unique since most observed meteor showers are from comets.

The best time see the Geminid meteor shower next year will be Dec. 13-14, when a waxing crescent moon will make for better sighting conditions.

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The Geminid meteor shower put on its usual light show over both hemispheres this weekend, but the moon prevented even better viewing by taking away from the event's normal glitz.
geminid, meteor, shower, moonlight
331
2014-29-16
Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 08:29 AM
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