“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” –Walt Whitman

Every once in a while, the Earth hurtles through the orbital path of a comet or asteroid, with the Sun having torn tiny bits of debris from the parent body. As a result, the Earth strikes these dusty fragments at speeds often exceeding a hundred thousand miles-per-hour, resulting in a tremendous light show: meteor showers!

Image credit: NASA / public domain, of the Leonid meteor shower (1997) as seen from space.

Image credit: NASA / public domain, of the Leonid meteor shower (1997) as seen from space.

Most people wind up disappointed in meteor showers for two reasons: they don’t know what to expect and they don’t know how to view them. So I’ve done my best to fix that, by explaining exactly where they come from, what the science behind them is and giving you tips and tricks for how to optimize your viewing experience.

Image credit: Michael Menefee (Fort Photo on flickr), viahttps://www.flickr.com/photos/fortphoto/7823333570/in/set-72157634989518344.

Image credit: Michael Menefee (Fort Photo on flickr), viahttps://www.flickr.com/photos/fortphoto/7823333570/in/set-72157634989518344.

Here’s to clear skies, good conditions and a year-end experience for the ages. Now, go enjoy the Geminids!

Comments

  1. #1 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    December 6, 2015

    Thanks, Ethan; hope we get clear skies down here for the show.

  2. #2 Ron
    Bowen island, BC
    December 6, 2015

    The link to Forbes.com does not go to your article. It just gets stuck on the welcome screen. Using Safari on a iPad.

  3. #3 Robert Scott
    Athens, AL, USA
    December 9, 2015

    Thanks for the “head up” Ethan. Nice article. I’ll be watching! The link didn’t work for me either, using Chrome browser on a PC. Thanks, Ron, for the hint you gave re Forbes.com.

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