Dec
07
2005

Last call for shooting stars

The last major meteor shower of the year is coming to a sky near you! The Geminid Meteor shower has already begun, and will make nightly appearances through December 19. Peak viewing in Minnesota is expected shortly after midnight on December 14-15. Unfortunately, a nearly-full moon will obscure all but the brightest meteors.

If you want to see the show, pick a clear night. Bundle up warmly! (Bring a thermos of hot chocolate.) Get away from city lights. Then, starting around midnight, look to the east.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

vechi's picture
vechi says:

yea shooting stars are cool but what if one hits you? sadly the fun soon ends

posted on Sun, 02/12/2006 - 3:20pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Most shooting stars are small grain-sized particles that burn up in the atmosphere and never make it to the ground. A few of the larger ones do; we call those meteorites. According to this item, no one has ever been killed by a meteorite, and only one person has ever been inured. So, you may go sky watching without fear!

posted on Mon, 02/13/2006 - 9:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i just love shoting stars. and hopefully people would go out to see shoting stars more often.

posted on Sun, 02/19/2006 - 3:27pm
Gigi's picture
Gigi says:

Last thrusday i saw the most beautiful shooting star in miami.. it was so big i did not believe was real until the next day a friend of mine told she saw it in Miami beach around 7 or 8... i would love to knoe the name.. it was an awsome experience... by anychange any of you would now how to get more info about this?
thank you have a great day!!!
hope you saw what i saw!!!

posted on Tue, 08/22/2006 - 1:15pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Shooting stars generally don't get names. Most are just tiny bits of space dust, burning up in the Earth's atmosphere. They burn for just a second or two. By the time you can think of a name, they're gone!

Dozens of shooting stars race across the sky every night. But several times a year, the Earth passes through a cloud of dust floating in outer space. On those nights, you can watch a meteor shower, with a hundred shooting stars an hour, or more!

While the individual meteors don't get names, the showers do. One major shower is called the Perseids, because the shooters appear to come out of the constellation Perseus. That shower peaked on August 13 this year, but there were still a few stragglers through the week. That may have been what you saw.

You can learn more about meteors and meteor showers here, and even find a calendar listing upcoming events.

Happy meteor-watching!

posted on Fri, 08/25/2006 - 6:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Tonight about 11pm I saw such a low and bright shooting star that it looked like a shooting firework. Did anyone else see anything like this. It was incredible, almost scary.

posted on Sun, 09/10/2006 - 3:16am
neil's picture
neil says:

I saw it too. It was the most spectacular shooting star I've ever seen. It was so bright up in the sky, even in the city lights of Springfield, Missouri, where I live. The best shooting stars last only a 1/2 second or so. This one seemed to last 5-10 seconds and traveled across almost half the sky, starting just above me, and then streaking northeast almost to the horizon. Unbelievable!!! I'd like to know if there's been any mention of it in any newspapers.

posted on Mon, 09/24/2007 - 8:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i don't believe that you saw a shooting star on earth cause itz 2 fast to see it.

posted on Sun, 01/07/2007 - 6:27pm
kimberly's picture
kimberly says:

i think a shooting star is a rock from the astroud in
space.

posted on Sun, 09/02/2007 - 7:15pm
unknown girl's picture

I want to see a shooting star but how can i in Texas? Ive never seen one before and i really want to.

posted on Sun, 12/09/2007 - 8:41am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Boy, are you in luck! The 2007 Geminid meteor shower peaks this week, the night of December 13 (though meteors may be visible any night). What's more, it's supposed to be the best shower of the year! Here's what you do:

Head out before 10 pm local time.

Dress warmly. Bring a lawn chair or sleeping bag. A thermos of hot chocolate is optional, but highly recommended.

Get away from city lights.

Look up.

That should do it. The shower will increase as the night goes on. (Folks who don't want to pull an all-nighter are advised to go out between midnight and dawn.)

The meteors will appear to be coming out of the constellation Gemini in the east. But they will be streaking all across the sky, so you don't really need to be facing in any particular direction.

No special equipment is needed. Meteors are visible to the naked eye. In fact, using a telescope or binoculars will actually hurt your chances, as you will be focused on a narrow patch of sky. You want to keep your eyes open an keep scanning the entire sky.

For more information on the Geminid meteors, go here.

For tips on meteor watching, go here.

And, as a special treat, both Jupiter and Saturn should be visible that night.

Enjoy!

posted on Sun, 12/09/2007 - 9:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Its 1:19 am in Florida, I just came inside. I saw the first shooting star and thought wow..."if this is the only one I see tonight I'm incredibly moved and happy!" so long story short I counted 12! Did you keep track of how many you saw tonight?

posted on Fri, 12/14/2007 - 12:23am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Alas, it was completely clouded over in mid-Michigan, so I didn't see anything.

If anyone else saw any of the Geminid meteor shower, post your memories here.

posted on Fri, 12/14/2007 - 6:05pm
miss wonder's picture
miss wonder says:

i think i saw a shooting star last night but i dont know if it is one.

what does a shooting star look like?
does it vanish or stay there in the sky?

can u tell me when the next shooting star is going to happen?

from Miss Wonder

posted on Tue, 04/21/2009 - 10:05am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Shooting stars streak across the sky and then disappear.
It's very possible that you saw one last night, as the Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight. In the dark hours before dawn on April 22, forecasters expect you might be able to spot 10 - 20 meteors per hour.

posted on Tue, 04/21/2009 - 11:22am

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