Eat your hearts out, Christmas lights. Thursday night will see a real celestial show as the Geminid meteor shower, one of the two biggest of the year, sprinkles the night sky with falling stars. It announces itself with a flurry of shooting stars. For several nights in a row, dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour cut across the glistening constellations of winter, each one a little puzzle waiting to be solved.
This heavenly show is a good reminder to take time to realize the blessings that you are receiving daily. With the new moon it is a time for you to take stock of your life and envision what you want for the coming year.
Every year in mid-December, astronomers look up in the sky and witness a mystery. There is no real mystery as the universe plans everything in order. It announces itself with a flurry of shooting stars. For several nights in a row, dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour cut across the glistening constellations of winter, each one a little puzzle waiting to be solved.
And a Russian astronomer is predicting a whole new meteor shower might happen at the same time, giving sky-watchers a double dose of thrills.
“The Geminids are one of the best performers among the meteor showers of the year,” says Mark Hammergren, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
The shower is named for the constellation Gemini because it looks as if the meteors radiate out from it, although they don’t.
The night of Dec. 13 will also make the meteor shower far more memorable due to the new moon phase. The skies will be darker during the new moon therefore providing easier visibility of the Geminids. 120 meteors might be seen per hour, that’s estimated to be roughly two meteors per minute.
The peak time is set for 2 a.m. local time, but some meteors are expected to appear as early as 10 p.m. local time.
The meteor shower has been growing in intensity in recent decades and should be better than usual this year because it falls during a nearly moonless week.
Look up and enjoy this wonderful gift from the Universe!