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Geminid Meteor Shower Overnight

Posted by David Epstein  December 13, 2013 08:43 PM

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Where it is clear overnight there is a great meteor shower taking place for your viewing pleasure. After 1AM, as the moon gets lower in the sky, the viewing will be even better. For this event there will be up to 100 meteors per hour!

I'll be updating the forecast through the weekend as it changes on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

One of the interesting things about these meteors is they travel relatively slow compared to other meteors. At a mere 78,000 mph their bright white trails will linger longer in the sky. Try to get out of the glow of the city lights and bundle up as much of the country, not just the northeast, is very cold.

sky and telescope.jpg

Meteors are caused when pieces of debris from comets or asteroids fall through our atmosphere burning up in the night sky upon reentry. The meteors are falling during the day as well, we just can't see them.

The Geminid shower happens every year when Earth passes through the trail of debris left behind the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The meteors from this particular shower were first discovered years ago in the 1880s. Since that time, the number of meteors per hour has dramatically increased each year. This year some believe there could be over 120 per hour. If you are up and want to take a look, it's one of the longest nights of the year. Good luck.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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