fbpx
Farmers Almanac
The Farmers Almanac
Order your copy today!

Geminid Meteor Shower

Geminid Meteor Shower

If you enjoy seeing “shooting stars,” then get ready! A pre-Christmas celestial fireworks display known as the Geminid Meteor Shower peaks December 13-14. Many astronomers consider the annual December Geminids to be the best shower of the year, surpassing even the famous Perseids of August.

On a good year, depending on how dark your location is, it should be possible to see as many as 60 to 120 “shooting stars” per hour for the duration of the night.

One of the nice things about the Geminids is that, unlike most meteor showers, they’re active in the evening, not only after midnight. The radiant—that spot in the sky where the meteors will appear to emanate—lies just below and to the right of the bright star Castor in the constellation Gemini (hence the name “Geminids”). This meteor shower is caused by fragments of 3200 Phaethon. The asteroid has a debris trail that orbits around the Sun, and every year at this time, Earth runs into this dusty debris trail causing the “fireworks.”

Bundle Up!

But keep this in mind: at this time of year, meteor watching can be a long, cold business. You wait and you wait for meteors to appear. When they don’t appear right away, and if you’re cold and uncomfortable, you’re not going to be looking for meteors for very long!

The late Henry Neely, who for many years served as a lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, once had this to say about watching for the Geminids: “Take the advice of a man whose teeth have chattered on many a winter’s night: Wrap up much more warmly than you think is necessary!”

Hot cocoa or coffee can take the edge off the chill, as well as provide a slight stimulus. It’s even better if you can observe with friends. That way, you can keep each other awake, as well as cover more sky.  Give your eyes time to dark-adapt before starting.

Good luck, stay warm, and here’s hoping you catch sight of lots of shooting stars.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Previous / Next Posts

1 comment

1 Kristina { 12.10.19 at 12:26 am }

Thank you

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

Reading Farmers' Almanac on Tablet with Doggie

Don't Miss A Thing!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Get a FREE Download!