The Geminid Meteor Shower Will Light up the Sky This Month

Federico Mansilla
Diciembre 7, 2017

The meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, which rises around sunset and climbs almost overhead by 2 a.m.

Jefferson County Conservation is offering Germinid Meteor Shower viewing from 9-11 p.m. December 13 at Jefferson County Park.

The Geminids probably don't get more attention since their peak is on the night of the 13th and the morning of the 14th of December, a time of year when it is cold in most of the country, and there is sometimes ice and snow on the ground (not in Tucson fortunately). In addition, the brilliant planet Jupiter will be rising in the east around the peak of the Geminids meteor shower and will be visible until dawn.

They are often bold, white and bright. That being said, you'll have to temper your expectations according to where you live; the light pollution in cities can impede visibility considerably, with numbers dwindling to around 10-15 per hour.

This workshop is suitable for amateur photographers of all ages and will demonstrate the skills of night-sky photography, including post-production techniques.

Why is this year so favorable for the Geminids?

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According to Mr Magro, astronomy, space travel and all things celestial, have become much more concurrent throughout mainstream society and this has spurred on a new interest in night photography. The best views come the morning of the 14th, between roughly midnight and 4 a.m., when observers under a clear, dark sky can expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour.

"It's always unbelievable, but with no lunar interference this year, it's going to be really special", he added.

Observe the Geminids next Wednesday evening, December 13 and Thursday morning, December 14. Unfortunately, under light-polluted skies, you won't be able to catch a glimpse of as many, as they won't be as clearly visible.

Attendees should bring their own DSLR camera, lens and tripod to take part. Then participants will head out to sit a spell and watch the sky.

It's time to make a Christmas wish on some shooting stars. You also might need to give your eyes some time to adapt to the dark before seeing the shower in all its glory.

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