Minnesota Events, Nature, Seasonal, Winter December 02, 2022
The Boldest And Biggest Meteor Shower Of The Year Will Be On Display Above Minnesota In December
Gaze into the northeastern sky on a clear night this holiday season, and you may be fortunate enough to see the Geminid meteor shower. It’s one of the year’s biggest and brightest shooting star shows. So, put on a coat, grab a mug of hot cocoa, step outside, and look up.
The Geminid meteor shower occurs every winter, lasting from late November until late December.
For all intents and purposes, the meteor shower spans the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Under ideal viewing conditions - cloudless and moonless nights - stargazers can see as many as 150 meteors per hour when the Geminids peak in mid-December.
In 2022, a strong moon phase is expected to occur at the time the Geminids peak, so conditions won't be ideal for seeing dimmer meteors.
The Geminid meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Gemini. Gemini is the shower's radiant point, or the location in the sky from which the meteors appear to originate.
More precisely, the star Castor in the Gemini constellation is the Geminids' radiant.
The Geminid meteor shower is caused by debris left by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon in its orbit around the sun.
Asteroid 3200 Phaethon is a rare blue asteroid that behaves like a comet.
Each winter, as the Earth passes through 3200 Phaethon's debris field, chunks of debris enter the planet's atmosphere as meteors.
As a result, we're treated to one of the year's best meteor showers.
If you can get somewhere away from cities, towns, and other places where light pollution dims the sky, you'll improve your chances of seeing more meteors.
Consider heading toward the Canadian border – where you’ll find some of the darkest skies in the Lower 48 – to see the Geminid meteor shower in Minnesota. In fact,
Voyageurs National Park is a certified Dark Sky Park. And the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is the biggest Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world.
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