It’s time for another Sky Event. (Dec. 13)

Tonight, if the skies are clear, those who are hearty enough to brave cold weather might have a real treat in store. Tonight is an annual meteor shower that is only increasing in intensity.

Before the Civil War, the meteor shower was sort of a dud. For starters, who wants to go out in the cold to watch the night skies?  Over time, however, this meteor shower has only increased in intensity. According to


The Geminids are not typical meteors, also known as shooting stars. Most meteors are created when tiny particles from comets slam into the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate. Meteors fly through the sky every night, and when there are a lot, they are called meteor showers.

The Geminids are among the few meteors created from an asteroid, Cooke said. Several hundred or perhaps a few thousand years ago — scientists aren’t sure when — something caused what is now known as the 3200 Phaethon asteroid to start spewing debris. Perhaps something hit it. No one knows.

“The Geminids are kind of mysterious in that regard,” Cooke said.

What isn’t a mystery is the arrival of the Geminids each December. They are in different places in the sky, depending on the time and location. From about 9 p.m. until after midnight Sunday, look to the northeast.

The Geminids radiate near the constellation Gemini. At around 10 pm, locate the constellation Orion. Then look above Orion and to the left. Hopefully you will see at least 2-3 ‘shooting stars’ per minute. We could be getting a real light show tonight, or, if skies remain cloudy like they are Sunday morning, we could see nothing. It is all a crap shoot at this point.

12 Thoughts to “The Geminids are Coming!”

  1. Witness Too

    Thank you M-H, I had no idea about this, but it’s very interesting. I will be praying for not rain and looking to the north east tonight. The things you learn on this blog….

  2. Gainesville Reisdent sent that information over. He likes our occassional astronomy links.

  3. Lafayette

    Where is Gainesville? He’s all over this stuff usually. I’m glad in sent you the info. I’ll be watching too…weather permitting of course.

  4. It doesn’t look real hopeful at this point, does it?

  5. Witness Too

    No it doesn’t. I guess it’s gonna be a rainout.

  6. They will be around tomorrow night supposedly. It is just that tonight is the peak.

  7. Fogged in until 6 am tomorrow am. What a shame.

  8. Poor Richard

    “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very
    average star. But we have begun to understand the universe.
    That makes us something special.”
    Stephen Hawkins

  9. Witness Too

    Humility is one thing but to call us an advanced breed of monkey? That’s a bit rude of Mr. Hawking, and antagonistic toward believers in creation science. He is brilliant though.

  10. Poor Richard

    Humility, wonder and awe – looking at the winter night sky from the
    Sedona desert.

    Now, I’m off to the kitchen for a nice banana. Nature’s pre-wrapped snack!

    (Certainly watching FOX can lead one towards Darwinism.
    Loud male chest pounders who love being groomed (verbally)
    by their harems and snarling at strangers).

  11. PR, are you in Sedona right now?

    If you are, I am green with envy. I have only gone there in spring time and the desert got cold. Darn cold.

    I agree re Fox.

  12. Hawking has had an amazing life. In the first place, most people don’t live with Lou Gehrigs disease all that long. He must have another form.

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