Meteor alert!

by Gene on Jan. 03rd, 2008

The first meteor shower of 2008 is tonight, and it promises to be a good one. (Sorry for the late notice--I thought it was going to be Friday night, but in fact it is early Friday morning.) Peak activity occurs at 1:40 am Eastern Time, but there should be frequent meteors for up to 4 hours before and after. Viewing will be best in western Europe just before dawn, with up to 120 meteors per hour. Eastern North America could see 30 to 60 meteors per hour. In central and western North America, the meteors will be below the horizon until after the peak has passed, but it may still be possible to see up to 30 meteors per hour in the post-peak hours.

As always when meteor hunting, aim to go out a little before midnight local time. Get somewhere far from city lights. Lay out a blanket or lawn chair and look east. Do not use binoculars -- just keep scanning the skies. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate if you can.

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