Welcome to the 109th edition of 6 Storm Team Starwatch! This is a blog that will be posted every week that will list events happening in the sky.
Monday, December 13th – Tuesday, December 14th 2021
The Geminid meteor shower peaks Monday night/early Tuesday (Sky & Telescope)! This meteor shower is one of the best of the year, so you won’t want to miss it (Sky & Telescope). Meteor showers are named after the point in the sky where the meteors appear to originate from, called the radiant (NASA). In this case, the Geminids appear to radiate from a point in the constellation Gemini, hence their name (NASA).
This year, the Moon will be nearly 80% full, which isn’t great for viewing, but the Moon is expected to set around 2 A.M., allowing for better viewing conditions past that time (NASA).
The Geminid meteor shower is caused by debris from 3200 Phaethon, which is believed to be an asteroid (NASA). While this meteor shower can be seen across the globe, it is best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere (NASA). These meteors can be green-colored according to Bill Cooke from NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office (NASA).
Early Tuesday morning under a really dark sky, you may be able to see 2-3 meteors per minute on average (Sky & Telescope). Make sure to go somewhere away from light pollution and be sure to look in all directions (Sky & Telescope).
Thursday, December 16th – Saturday, December 18th 2021
The next several nights after sunset you will be able to see the gibbous Moon near the bright star Aldebaran and the star cluster the Pleiades (Sky & Telescope). You will want to look East to see this (Sky & Telescope). The image below shows what to look for in the sky.
Saturday, December 18th 2021
Tonight is the December Full Moon (Sky & Telescope). This Full Moon will be at apogee, meaning it will appear slightly smaller than average (Sky & Telescope).
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