Geminid Meteor Shower Watch - Weds Dec 13
Begins : Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 5:30 PM Central Standard Time
Ends : Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 12:15 AM Central Standard Time
Duration : 6 hours 45 minutes
Join us for to enjoy the peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower. Our observatory grounds will open at 5:30 PM. Please arrive by at least 6:30 PM. Follow the directions below and drive safely on our rural roads after dark. The focus of this event is to lay back and watch for meteors overhead instead of telescope observing. You can expect to see meteors every few minutes. They are called meteor showers because they seem to come from a common region of the sky.
The best way to enjoy a meteor shower is lay back and watch the show overhead. Bring a comfortable lawn chair - dress warmly ( Coat - Gloves - Cap etc. ) - maybe a warm blanket. You may want to bring a tablet to keep a meteor count. A warm drink and snack will help you get through the night. Our observatory classroom is mildly heat for brief respites inside.
Please check our website before coming out if the weather is predicted to be cloudy or extremely cold which may result in cancellation. The meteor shower will still be active at a lower level during our Guest night at the observatory on Saturday Dec 16.
The Geminid Meteor shower is one of the two most active showers of the year. In 2023 the shower activity peaks on the night of Weds Dec 13 into the morning of Dec 14. However, the shower is active a few days on either side. This year the New Moon is on the 12th so we will have dark sky all night. In dark sky up to 100 meteors per hour can be seen. The meteors appear to come it radiant in Gemini. Gemini rises in the east around 7:00 PM and climbs higher through out the evening. The number of meteors are expected to become more frequent as Gemini rises higher.
Most meteor showers are associated with debris left behind in a comet’s orbit. The Geminid shower originates from a rocky asteroid named 3200 Phaethon which orbits the sun every 1.4 years. See Did an Asteroid Collision Make the Geminid Shower
ACT OBSERVATORY directions - Follow our map directions DO NOT USE GPS
MOSTLY PAVED ROADS – Hwy 75 to 201st St S – through Mounds OK
Most DIRECT ROUTE – Hwy 75 to 241st St S – some coarse gravel & dirt roads