Sunday 14 December 2014

Week 27: Geminid Meteor Shower

English: A meteor during the peak of the 2009 ...

You can't beat the sight of a shooting star and it's worth staying up late for and getting a good viewing point

In December the Geminid meteor shower takes place.  It's the last one of the year and this weekend I stood out in an almost clear night with a crisp frost on the ground and saw a dozen streak overhead in just a few minutes - too cold to stay out for long.

Some very bright with long trails, others nothing more than a brief flash.

If you missed them in December there are several opportunities for star gazers and meteor watchers to see them in 2015.  The major showers are:

Quadrantids in January - only a few days
Perseids in July/August
Leonids in November
Geminids in December

They often have a peak in the middle when up to 100 meteors an hour can be seen.  It depends on a having a clear sky, minimal light pollution and how full the moon is as to how many you'll see.

Meteor showers will generally radiate from the constellation for which they're named.  Find out when and where to see them by taking a look at MeteorWatch or following @VirtualAstro on Twitter.

A meteor during the peak of the Leonid Meteor Shower. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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