Home > Ephemeris Program, Meteor Shower > 12/13/2016 – Ephemeris – The Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak tonight

12/13/2016 – Ephemeris – The Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak tonight

December 13, 2016

Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 13th.  The Sun will rise at 8:12.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:02.  The Moon, at full today, will rise at 5:18 this evening.

The great meteor shower of December will reach its peak 7 p.m.  The shower is called the Geminids because they seem to come from the constellation of Gemini the twins. Unlike most meteor showers which have their highest numbers just before dawn, the normal highest numbers of meteors, when the radiant point is highest in the sky is between 2 and 3 a.m.  The radiant point, near the star Castor, the higher of the twin’s namesake stars will rise before 8 p.m. tonight.  In the last few years the Geminids have bested the Perseid shower of August for numbers of meteors.  The Geminids are caused by bits of rock that orbit the sun in a rather small but elongated orbit.  Unfortunately this year the Moon is full, so all but the brightest meteors will be drowned out by moonlight.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Geminid Chart

The entire sky at the time the radiant (GemR) is at its highest. That’s actually 2:37 a.m. December 14th, 2016. The radiant’s altitude is 78º. Also shown is the Moon’s position. Created using my LookingUp program.  Click on the image to enlarge.

 

 

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