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Meteor Shower To Peak Thursday

In rural areas, up to 100 meteors per hour may be seen during the shower's peak.

Geminid shower

Photo: Courtesy: NASA/MSFC/MEO

False-color image of a 2011 Geminid meteor, captured by a camera at New Mexico State University, operated by the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, Ala

The Geminid meteor shower begins Wednesday night and will still be visible to viewers through Friday.

According to the Indiana University Professor of Astronomy Caty Pilachowski, the moon will be in its new phase, so its light will not interrupt the show, which peaks Thursday.

Pilachowski says the shower will be especially impressive this year, because earth will pass through debris fields of several old comets.

“We’re in a point in the earth’s orbit where, as a planet, we cross the paths of several broken up comets, or trails from comets,” she says. The most famous is the Geminid meteor trail, but there are several other that are crossing paths in the earth’s orbit as well.”

In rural areas, Pilachowski says several dozen meteors per hour may be seen during the shower’s Thursday peak. She recommends getting away from urban light pollution, and finding a secluded setting to watch the sky. Most meteors will come from the north she says, but any vantage point of the sky should be sufficient to spot a shooting star.

According to experts at NASA, Geminids are pieces of debris from an object called 3200 Phaethon. Long thought to be an asteroid, Phaethon is now classified as an extinct comet.

Dan Goldblatt

Dan Goldblatt is the Multi-media Producer for WFIU/WTIU News. A graduate of Indiana University, he studied journalism and anthropology. He currently lives in Bloomington with his cat, June Carter.

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  • lacie

    awesome

  • Paul Felix Schott

    EVERY SOUL THAT EVER LIVED ON EARTH WILL SOON HAVE THEIR EYES TO THE HEAVENS

    Do a little History on this one.

    ALL Should Look Up “2012 DA14″.

    This
    could take out one of more satellites and the junk and debris from the
    hit could end up taking out many more satellites very soon after that.
    All the satellite collision probability will go way up if even one is
    hit. The velocity that the parts would go to would make them missiles
    that would start targeting a chain reaction this would not be good.

    Most
    all will be watching this one and pray it goes by us with out a hit.
    Every Scientist alive will be watching this event. Many will be in
    Florida for a very special viewing of the once in a Lifetime Event.
    Professors, Scientist, World Leaders, Ham Radio Operators and Every
    Astronomer will have its eyes on This Event, along with almost every TV
    set on
    Earth.

    “2012
    DA14″ goes by Earth twice a year and there is no way anyone for sure
    can tell how close the second pass will be till it passes by the Moon
    and Earth and the GRAVITATIONAL FORCE effect that it will have on this
    Asteroid.

    They may come close but this one is already coming
    very close to begin with. Too close this time or on its second or 3rd
    pass? Ad a Meteor Shower like the 13 and 14 of December of this year, it
    might go through or bump into one of them? Or all the other orbital
    debris like Spent Rocket Boosters left in space that can no longer be
    moved by a control center on Earth.

    If a big enough one were to
    slam into the moon in the night sky you would think the sun was coming
    up early only it would be 5 to 7 times as bright. From The Sun’s Rays
    Reflection on all the Debris Field.

    2012 XM16, 2012 XM55, 2012
    XP55, THERE ARE OVER 25 found just this year 2012 that are part of the
    Near Earth Object Program that will come close to
    Earth from now till 2012 DA14 comes.

    You do not want to know how many are on the “PLANETARY DEFENSE” list.
    The PLANETARY DEFENSE is not to protect Earth from men from Mars.
    It
    is for all mankind with most all Nation in on it to stop if can most
    all collision with EARTH from a ASTEROID IMPACT. It is if you will a
    AVOIDANCE SHIELD. “N.E.O.S. Near Earth Object Shield”.

    If only
    one were to hit or IMPACT EARTH on land get ready for a winter you will
    never forget. The winter from 1883 -1884 KRAKATOA you will think was a
    little pebble, and now the stone comes.

    If this Meteor Shower is big enough you might think all the stars are falling from Heaven.

    GET READY

    Read your Bible
    While you still
    can,
    and May
    our Lord GOD Bless all that do so.
    John 14 : 6
    Luke 13 : 27
    Matthew 7 : 20 – 27

    The Lord’s Little Helper.
    Paul Felix Schott.

    P.S.
    Help others in are Lord’s name Jesus Christ help bring all to know him while you still
    can.

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