Another great celestial event is poised to light up the night sky. The annual Geminid meteor shower will peak on the night of December 13 into the morning of the 14th
As Earth crosses the debris field of asteroid 3200 Phaethon we will enjoy a predicted rate of 120 meteors seen per hour or one every 30 seconds on average. Tiny particles will enter our atmosphere at 35 km/sec producing long, slow and sometimes very bright streaks vaporizing about 80 kms high.
The very thin waning crescent moon rising at 3:45 a.m. local time will not interfere with this year’s display. Our resident astronomical expert Gary Boyle even considers this shower the best of the entire year.
And on a side note, if you’re interested in looking at the stars more closely, the Ottawa Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will be hosting a free Telescope Clinic tomorrow at the Aviation and Space Museum. The clinic runs from 10am – 2pm.
It is a great opportunity to get some advice on buying a telescope for family and friends for Christmas. Struggling with your telescope? Come see them and they will answer your questions.