Monday, December 17, 2012

The Geminid Shower.

Last Thursday night we went out to watch this year's Geminid Meteor Shower.

At 2am (2am!) we packed the car with sleeping bags and blankets, put on 3 different layers of clothing, and drove 30 minutes away to a remote field that was far from any city lights. With hot chocolate in our gloveless hands, we waited anxiously for the peak hour to hit and the show to start. We were not disappointed! After countless minutes squealing and gasping at the meteors shooting across the sky, we settled into our blankets and watched for nearly an hour as dozens upon dozens of comets danced above us. It was such a magnificent sight and the skies were so clear that it really made for a fantastic memory.

My silly iPhone couldn't take very good images of the occasion (obviously), so I've added a few here from online that were taken of the shower. Nothing quite captures seeing it in person, but these images really do leave me in a state of awe. I'm not only deeply impressed with Ken Brandon's talented photography, but also incredibly impressed with mother nature, too!

This year's shower crossed with the debris of a new comet called 46P/Wirtanen, which doubled the amount of shooting stars that were visible to us on Earth. It was the first time on record the two comet debris have ever crossed paths, which was very exciting! If you missed the event, don't worry! The Geminid Showers occur every year in December.

Image credit: Ken Brandon

Image credit: Ken Brandon

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