What’s Up – December 2017

What’s Up For December?

Geminid and Ursid meteor showers & winter constellations!

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This month hosts the best meteor shower of the year and the brightest stars in familiar constellations.

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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.

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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.
local time.

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In the southern hemisphere, you won’t see as many, perhaps 10-20 per hour, because the radiant never rises above the horizon.

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Take a moment to enjoy the circle of constellations and their brightest stars around Gemini this month.

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Find yellow Capella in the constellation Auriga. 

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Next-going clockwise–at 1 o’clock find Taurus and bright reddish Aldebaran, plus the Pleiades. 

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At two, familiar Orion, with red Betelguese, blue-white Rigel, and the three famous belt stars in-between the two.

  

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Next comes Leo, and its white lionhearted star, Regulus at 7 o’clock.

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Another familiar constellation Ursa Major completes the view at 9 o’clock.

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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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