In what is being called a “Christmas for nerds” (by me, no one else is calling it that), tonight’s supermoon will be accompanied by your other favourite periodic astronomical phenomenon: the Geminid Meteor Shower.
As we all know, the supermoon occurs when the moon is at its perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth). We had an absolutely banging one last month that might have been largely obscured by clouds here but looked fucking phenomenal from the rest of the planet.
As you might not know, the Geminid Meteor Shower is a meteor shower (duh) that occurs once a year as the Earth just casually cruises through a big ol’ debris field and collect a bunch of space junk that comes fanging through the atmosphere (sorry for all this technical talk) – and it’s going to be peaking this very night.
NASA describes the shower as “typically one of the best and most reliable of the annual meteor showers,” and, at its peak, it will see about 120 meteors an hour shooting through the sky.
Unfortunately, the increased brightness of the supermoon means that it’ll be harder to see the shower than under normal circumstances, cutting visibility down to about tenth – about a meteor a minute, which is not to be sniffed at if you’ve got a comfy chair, a six pack (of beers, obviously, astronomy isn’t for muscular people) and some time to spare.
The full moon technically occurs around 10am tomorrow morning but prime viewing conditions will be tonight. There’s never been a better time to figure out how to climb up onto the roof of your place (please don’t sue us if you do this and fall off).
If it’s Tuesday night and you’re reading this, I would highly recommend going outside right now. Immediately.
Source: Brisbane Times.
Photo: Getty Images / Dan Kitwood.
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