Thursday, December 13, 2012

Shine Bright Like a Diamond!

One of my favorite things about being a teacher is that I can be as nerdy as I want with my science stuff and I can pass it off as "something to teach my students."  However, that doesn't fool my closest friends who know I am a complete weather, earth, and space nerd.  Tonight is one of those nights that is so awesome for space nerds like me.  Tonight is the peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower!  To make it even more cool (as if it needed additional cool factor), another comet may be joining in the display.  Please welcome comet Wirtanen to the stage!  If you want to know more about the origin of both the Geminid shower and the potential shower from Wirtanen, gives a nice little overview.

Now, to the important stuff.

When can you see it?  Tonight....laaaate.  Yes, you will be able to see some meteors shortly after sunset and throughout the night, but the best part of it will be in the wee morning hour or two before bar close in California.  ;)

Where can you see it?  Um, in the sky.  It really doesn't matter where you are.  You should be able to see it.

"OH NO!  It is overcast where I am!  This sucks!"  Don't panic.  We may not be able to control the weather, but that doesn't mean you have to completely miss out.  Some super awesome NASA peeps are going to have live video of the showers from Alabama!  They will also be chit-chatting away with anyone who decides to join.  In addition, the Geminid showers will stick around for a few more days and you will be able to see those awesome meteors until the 15th and 16th, but tonight...tonight is the night to see the best of it with upwards of 100 meteors PER HOUR!!!

So, my nerdy science friends, enjoy the awesomeness that is a space gift and enjoy the show!