Supermoon Trifecta, Geminid Meteor Shower Peak: Skywatch Calendar



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December and January will be delightful months for sky watchers, with three consecutive supermodels starting this weekend and including a blue moon moon at the end of January; a total lunar eclipse; and a trio of meteor showers, starting with the Geminids, a particularly bright celestial event that peaks between December 13 and 14.

The first full moon on the supermoon tripod will be at its closest point to Earth at 4 a. morning of Monday, December 4, but the observers of the moon can get their best views just after sunset on Sunday, December 3, as it looks great on the horizon.

That's the effect of the super moon. The moon is not actually larger, but it seems particularly so in its closest approach to Earth during its monthly orbit, known as the moon perigee. The full moon of December, which is also known as the "cold moon," is the only supermoon in 2017 and is smaller than most.

But in 2018, the supermoon that will be visible on January 1 and 2 will be the biggest of the year. A second full moon on January 31, known as the blue moon because it is the second full moon in a calendar month, is also a supermoon and then get ready. It sets the stage for a total eclipse of the moon, which occurs when the moon pbades through the dark shadow of the Earth, or umbra. The moon gradually darkens and then acquires a rusty red or blood red color during the eclipse.

The total lunar eclipse will be visible in western North America, Asia, Australia and the Pacific, according to earthsky.org. [19659003] If supermodels are not your thing, the Geminid meteor shower is considered one of the best of the year, sometimes offering up to 120 meteors per hour. The shower is almost 200 years old and was first detected on a riverboat on the Mississippi River, reports Space.com.

When Jupiter's gravity pulls on the stream of particles left by asteroid 3200 Phaeton, the rain has moved stronger and closer to Earth through the centuries.

The best time to see the meteors is around 2 a. m. local time of December 14. They come from the constellation of Gemini: just look at the northeast sky near the constellation of Orion, easily spotted by three stars in the "belt" of the hunter. Gemini is on the right, high in the sky.

Meteors should be visible anywhere in the sky. If you focus too much on Gemini, you can miss the meteors with longer "tails" when they run streaks in the sky, says Space.com.

And as with all meteor showers, getting away from intrusive light is your best bet.

A minor spectacle of shooting stars, the Ursid meteor shower around the time of the Winter Solstice on December 21 and peaks in the night hours of December 22-23. At most, you'll probably only see a handful of meteors, maybe five per hour, and you're more likely to see them in the northernmost latitudes of the northern hemisphere.

Ursid meteors are slow motors, and if they trace their way backwards, "they seem to come from the section of the sky marked by the star of Little Dipper Kochab," writes earthsky.org.

The shooting stars of 2018 could be a failure, since for the most part it will be swept away by the supermoon light, but you may be able to see some if you are patient. The Quadrantids meteor shower reaches its peak from January 3 to 4. It's a normal show, says seasky.org, producing about 40 meteors per hour at its peak.

It is believed that the rain is caused by debris left by the extinct comet EH1 2003, and the meteors should be visible from anywhere. of the sky, except interference from the moon. It radiates from the Bootes constellation.


Look: Supermoon gets up this weekend


Photo by Tom Dulat / Getty Images News / Getty Images

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