I’ve considered myself a stargazer since childhood when astronomy became interesting to me. Although I’ve never owned a telescope, the dark sky has long been a fascination of mine. In the late 1990s, I belonged to an online group of amateur stargazers. The group would virtually discuss astronomical phenomena and meet offline from time to time for stargazing activities. My interests were fueled by my curiosity and love of viewing the night sky.
Meteor showers are one of those astronomical events I look forward to seeing whenever possible. The annual Geminids meteor showers happening this weekend from Friday, December 13th through Sunday the 15th, 2019 is no exception. While I no longer belong to a stargazing group, I still get excited to read or hear news of any upcoming event in the sky. Yes, I was one of those people who stood outdoors on August 21st of 2017 with a makeshift pinhole to view a total solar eclipse projected onto paper. Next, I’m anticipating the total solar eclipse expected in April of the year 2024. The North America path of the future total solar eclipse will track very close to my neck of the woods. Should I get to see April 8, 2024, plans are for a short road trip to an area where I can experience the total phase of the solar eclipse.
Anyway, back to the Geminids! A little background info: this upcoming meteor shower is said to originate from an asteroid, unlike most meteor showers originating from a comet. The sighting of the first Geminids meteor shower dates to the 1800s.
If I’m lucky, I’ll get to witness the last Geminids of this decade as they streak across the sky. Affectionately called “falling” or “shooting” stars, I consider meteor showers spectactacular. You can find optimal viewing times here. I’ve read the cold moon which happened shortly after midnight today, December 12, 2019, may bring some glare in viewing the Geminids. Luckily, I won’t need a telescope of other fancy equipment to see the Geminids shower across the sky this weekend. I will, however, need dark sky and warm clothes according to the chilly weather forecast.
Bonus: Stargazers, read more here about Comet 46p/Wirtanen which may be observable while you’re enjoying the Geminids.
Thanks for visiting!
The source links below provide detailed information on these astronomical wonders.