The best winter visitors return: the Geminids | Recreation



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The Geminids are probably the best meteor shower of the year, often outperforming the Perseids in August and the Leonids in November.

The Geminids probably do not receive more attention since their peak is the night of the 13th and the morning of December 14, a time of the year when it is cold in most of the country, and sometimes there is ice and snow on the ground (Fortunately not in Tucson).

Observe the Geminids next Wednesday night, December .13 and Thursday morning, December 14. The thin crescent moon does not rise until 3:57 am Thursday and will not interfere with the meteor shower. As with most meteor showers, the best view is from a dark place after midnight.

During a meteor shower, most meteors seem to come from a point in the sky. This point or "radiant" is in the constellation for which the shower is named.

The Geminids radiate from Gemini the Twins that will be on their heads at 1:30 a.m. However, it is difficult to look directly on your head for any period of time. I find that it is more comfortable to look at the sky in the middle of the horizon.

This is easily done while sitting wrapped in a favorite lawn chair and drinking hot chocolate or another hot beverage (no alcohol to preserve the night) vision!). You can look in any direction. Meteors will go to all parts of the sky.

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