Shooting stars light up downtown; Geminids reward lazy skywatcher

2012-12-13T05:48:00Z 2012-12-13T07:06:03Z Shooting stars light up downtown; Geminids reward lazy skywatcherBy Tom Beal, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 13, 2012 5:48 am  • 

I'm guessing that anyone who got up in the middle of the night to drive out to some dark locale and watch the sky last night was amply rewarded with a good meteor show.

I turned down a friend's offer to drive over Gates Pass at 1:30 a.m., but I did manage to haul myself out of bed at 4:45 a.m. to stand at the western corner of my house, between the two streetlights. I counted 14 meteors in a 30-minute span.

Some were simply glimpses of light moving at the edge of my vision, but most were pretty good, slow-moving meteors. One lit the sky pretty well and left a momentary trail.

I can only imagine how good the viewing was in darker places at the show's peak, when the constellation Gemini was overhead at 1:30 a.m.

The Geminid meteor shower appears annually when the Earth's orbit moves through the dust particles left behind by a space rock named Phaethon that, maybe, used to be a comet.

It peaks tonight, but the forecast calls for clouds.

Any reports from less lazy skywatchers?

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