The strangest meteor shower one can observe every year is almost upon us. Geminids is the only meteor shower that isn’t caused by a passing comet, but rather by an asteroid; the meteors are slow moving and pretty bright, making them a perfect target not only for astronomy afficionados, but for everybody who want’s to see a stellar show.
From this point of view, December is indeed a great month – not only can you see Geminids under weather conditions that promise to be good, but you can also witness the only full moon eclipse of the year. The night of December 13 is probably the best one for watching the ‘shooting stars’ (it’s estimated that then the intensity will be at maximum levels) and it promises to be quite a remarkable show, but you should definitely dress way more warmly than usual, and grab a blanket or two. The good thing is that the meteor shower will be so close that no binoculars or telescopes are necessary, but since it will last for a while, perhaps another good idea would be to grab a lawn chair or a sleeping bag (or a girlfriend) – something to keep you comfortable and warm for the 72 minutes when you will be enjoying the show in the sky.
Also, on the night of 20 (and/or 21, depends where you live) is a great one, and if you live in North America, you can go out and see the best lunar eclipse until April 2014. I will get back to you with more details a few days before the eclipse, but for now, you really should prepare for a dazzling display offered by the Geminids.
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