December has some night sky treats in store

This week will provide both a meteor shower and a lunar eclipse.  Tonight is supposed to be the peak night for the Geminid meteor shower, but it will continue for several nights, so look up when you go outside at night.  [It’s also supposed to be record-breakingly cold tonight, so that might pose a challenge.]

Dewees Island is a great place to view meteor showers because we have far less light pollution than most places, and the beach is often a great place to see meteor showers, as well as rooftop decks.  At the peak (tonight) there should be 50 – 80 meteors per hour.

More information can be found on,which says,

Even though the moon’s light doesn’t help, you should be able to 50-80 meteors per hour is attained on the night of December 13/14.  Click here for an easy to use sky map and more details.

Watch The Moon Disappear Before Your Eyes
There’s a total lunar eclipse happening across all of North America the night of December 21   While it may be happening a little late for folks on the East Coast, you might find it’s worth staying up for it.  The eclipse will start to be noticeable around 1:00 AM ET, with the total eclipse beginning at 2:41.

You can do the math and see the timing is a little more friendly for folks on the west coast.  Regardless of how late the hour, you’ll not regret staying up to catch one of nature’s best shows.  Here’s a link to complete schedule and viewing map of next week’s total lunar eclipse.

They also link to these sites:

Website has a great summary of the Geminds »

Sky and Telescope Magazine posted a very useful story on total lunar eclipse »

And here’s some other links in

Our summer post about meteor showers.

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