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The Backyard Astronomer
A Great Meteor Shower

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 vapourizing about 80 kilometres high. The very thin waning crescent moon rising at 3:45 a.m. local time will not interfere with this year's display. I consider this shower the best of the entire year.

Bundle up and enjoy nature in motion. You will be amazed.

Known as "The Backyard Astronomer", Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator and monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He is now honoured with renaming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Twitter: @astroeducator or email him at garyboyle@wondersofastronomy.com

Last Updated: Tuesday, 05 December 2017 09:00:43 AM EST

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