Last night was the start of the annual Geminid Meteor Shower and it was spectacular! Fortunately the upper level clouds that formed late last night dissipated just in time to allow for clear skies just after midnight. This made great viewing weather in the late evening into early morning and temperatures stayed just mild enough not to be too cold, of course a cup of hot cocoa helped keep the hands warm in order to take pictures. Here is a shot of a meteor just above the constellation Orion:
Several of meteors could be seen in almost every direction and that is what makes this meteor shower one of the best. The Geminid meteor shower offers the slowest moving meteors across the night sky, with multiple colors, sizes and trail intensities. If you missed last nights spectacular light show, don’t worry, because you can catch this event tonight as well! A few things to keep in mind before you head out. The best time to view the Geminid meteor shower will be after midnight and definitely after the moon sets to our west. Make sure you are well out of city lights (although I took the above picture in Thornton), and give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness, around 30-45 minutes. This also means do not look at your phone or any other light source as it will keep your eyes from properly adjusting. The meteors originate from the Gemini constellation, hence the name, but meteors can be seen throughout the night sky (Personally I chose to look southwest towards the Orion constellation since that angle had the least light pollution for me). Skies this evening should be clear early with clouds starting to increase after midnight. Temperatures this evening will drop into the upper twenties to low thirties, but with a slight breeze this evening from the south, wind chills will hover in the low twenties, so if you plan to go watch make sure you bring a warm coat, hat and some gloves so you can stay comfortable during the dazzling light display that is the Geminid meteor shower!