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Out Of Mind » SOLAR & PLANETARY ALERTS & INFO » ATMOSPHERIC CHANGES » Best Meteor Shower Of The Year Coming In December – 1 December 2012

Best Meteor Shower Of The Year Coming In December – 1 December 2012

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Best Meteor Shower Of The Year Coming In December – 1 December 2012





Posted on December 1, 2012 by lucas2012infos | Leave a comment



December
1, 2012 – SPACE – Mild comfortable nights of observing are now behind
us. As we approach the Winter Solstice on December 21 at 6:12am (the
earliest date and time for this astronomical event since 1896), our days
grow shorter while the nights grow longer. Amateur astronomers like the
early sunsets and the longer nighttime skies, but the cold temperatures
can shorten one’s observing session quite effectively. However, unless
we get slammed with frequent and fast moving weather fronts during
meteorological winter (December thru February), the skies can be very
clear and transparent.

For those of you who own telescopes of any size should take that
opportunity to focus your instruments on the planet Jupiter. On December
1, this Jovian world will be at its closest distance to the Earth.
Though still just over 378,000,000 miles away, Jupiter and his four
Galilean moons reveal a lot of detail to even a casual observer using a
telescope. On that date this fifth planet from the Sun can be found to
the left of the Hyades asterism in Taurus, and almost five degrees from
Aldebaran, the red star that marks the eye of the bull. While Jupiter
will be observable for the next several months, the upcoming Geminid
meteor shower will peak on the night of December 13-14 (Thursday night
to Friday morning). The Geminids are currently the best meteor shower of
the year for northern hemisphere viewers, and the New Moon will not be
present to brighten the sky. Therefore, from a dark sky location an
observer should potentially observe 60+ meteors per hour at peak, which
is predicted to occur sometime between midnight and 4:00am EST. But for
those of you who don’t wish to observe into the wee hours of the
morning, the Geminids do provide observers an opportunity to see a
decent display during the pre-midnight hours. Why? Gemini, the
constellation from where the shooting stars appear to radiate, is about
30 degrees above the eastern horizon by 9:00pm. You’ll know you’ve seen a
Geminid if you can trace the origin of the meteor’s trail back to the
radiant point near Gemini’s brightest stars, Castor and Pollux. –Go Local
Thanks to: http://lucas2012infos.wordpress.com



 

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