What’s Up For December?
Geminid and Ursid meteor showers & winter constellations!
This month hosts the best meteor shower of the year and the brightest stars in familiar constellations.
The Geminds peak on the morning of the 14th, and are active from
December 4th through the 17th. The peak lasts for a full 24 hours,
meaning more worldwide meteor watchers will get to see this spectacle.
Expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour between midnight and 4 a.m.
but only from a dark sky. You’ll see fewer after moonrise at 3:30 a.m.
In the southern hemisphere, you won’t see as many, perhaps 10-20 per hour, because the radiant never rises above the horizon.
Take a moment to enjoy the circle of constellations and their brightest stars around Gemini this month.
Find yellow Capella in the constellation Auriga.
Next-going clockwise–at 1 o’clock find Taurus and bright reddish Aldebaran, plus the Pleiades.
At two, familiar Orion, with red Betelguese, blue-white Rigel, and the three famous belt stars in-between the two.
Next comes Leo, and its white lionhearted star, Regulus at 7 o’clock.
Another familiar constellation Ursa Major completes the view at 9 o’clock.
There’s a second meteor shower in December, the Ursids, radiating from
Ursa Minor, the Little Dipper. If December 22nd and the morning of
December 23rd are clear where you are, have a look at the Little
Dipper’s bowl, and you might see about ten meteors per hour.
Watch the full What’s Up for December Video:
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