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Geminids Meteor Shower in a Moonless Sky

Peak of annual meteor shower coincides with a new moon in 2015
By - posted 12/13/2015 No Comment

Stargazers look directly up tonight (away from city lights) to see a spectacular meteor light show originating from the Comet 3200 Phaethon in the constellation Gemini (looking south, almost overhead). 

The peak nights of the 2015 Geminid meteor shower are expected to be on December 13-14 (night of December 13 till dawn December 14) and 14-15 (night of December 14 till dawn December 15). Geminid meteors tend to be few and far between at early evening, but intensify in number as evening deepens into late night.

Your best bet is to watch on December 13-14 and 14-15, from mid-evening (9 to 10 pm) until dawn.

Best yet, there is no moon to obscure the 2015 Geminid shower. The meteors are plentiful, rivaling the August Perseids, with perhaps 50 to 100 meteors per hour visible at the peak. Plus Geminid meteors are often bright. These meteors are often about as good in the evening as in the hours between midnight and dawn. In 2015, the slender waxing crescent moon will set soon after the sun, providing a wonderful cover of darkness for the Geminid meteor shower.

The chunks of rock from this defunct comet travel through space at 26 miles per second, that’s 93,600 miles per hour, as they strike the earth’s atmosphere.

Source: Earth Sky