"The Geminid Meteor Shower, Plus The Moon and Mars and A Planet Named George"

Scheduled air date: 1999 Dec 06-12

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The Geminid Meteor Shower will reach its peak the night of the 13th-14th.  The above illustrates that these meteors appear to originate from a point (marked by the red "+" symbol) within the constellation Gemini, however they can appear anywhere in the sky.  The best viewing time will be between local midnight and twilight on Tuesday, December 14th.
(Shown about 2:00 AM for mid-Northern latitudes.)

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On the evening of the 12th, a thin Crescent Moon will appear to the upper left of the planet Mars (shown about thirty minutes after sunset for mid-Northern latitudes).
INSET: If viewing through a pair of binoculars or a telescope, another, much fainter, planet—Uranus—can be seen next to a moderately bright star just above Mars.   Both planets' positions are shown for the nights of the 12th-14th.

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

Copyright 1999-2006 by Software Bisque, Inc.