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Geminid Meteor Shower Is Peaking Right Now

ISS views Meteor
A view from above. A snapshot from the International Space Station of a meteor. (ISS/NSAS)
Thursday morning, Russ Lawrence was taking out the garbage and saw two meteorites in the clear, early morning Montana sky. That’s a pretty good meteor shower average for a short time outside…especially in the winter.

The Geminids meteor shower is in full “fall” right now, with the shower of stars dropping off in the next couple of days. The tiny bits of rock are left over from passing comets and burn up in the atmosphere, leaving trails of light.

Now, even though the Geminids will be fading, astronomers are betting that a new meteor shower may make an appearance this year.

It is from Comet 46P/Wirtanen, discovered in the 1940s. This year, the Earth should pass through its path. The two meteor showers could possibly combine after sunset tonight, December 13.

If it happens, they’ll have to come up for new name for the new shower.

So, dress warmly if the skies are clear, and look up. We have great night viewing in the Bitterroot Valley. However, don’t be disappointed if you only see one or two meteors. Meteor showers are notoriously fickle. Russ admits he felt lucky to see two trails.

NASA created a cool video to explain how comets create the showers.

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