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Birthday Show For Tay-12/13

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Stargazers are about to get their annual celestial treat:
A bright meteor shower, the Geminids, will grace skies worldwide this week, with a peak in activity on Thursday (Dec. 13).


Elizabeth Howell / CBSNews.com
Space.com/ December 11, 2012, Year's best meteor shower peaks this week

Astrophotographer Babak Tafreshi caught this Geminid meteor in 2009. / Babak Tafreshi


No telescope or binoculars are required to see the show — just use your bare eyes. The moon will set before the meteors come out to play around 10 p.m. local time, meaning the sky should be nice and dark for optimal viewing. There could be as many as 100 to 150 meteors an hour to gape at, for those patient enough to spend a few hours in a dark area and let their eyes adapt to starlight.

The Geminids, unusually among meteor showers, are the leftovers of an asteroid (most showers originate with comets). They are caused when rubble from the asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, lighting a path through the sky as it burns up.

The fact that the Geminid-causing debris comes from an asteroid and not a comet makes the particles denser and more durable than the typical cometary particles that make up other showers, said NASA's Bill Cooke."It makes them stronger. They can survive lower in the atmosphere," said Cooke, the lead for NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

A typical Geminid particle, he said, is about 1/25 of an inch in size and can survive as low as 35 miles in altitude. Yet the full story of how these particles came to be is shrouded in mystery.

Replies to This Posting

      1. TC Founder - Joined the new Taylor Connect during the preview period (Feb 2012 - May 2012)
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    Re: Birthday Show For Tay-12/13

    Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Oh, Taylor is lucky.


    http://taylorswift.com/forum/fan_made_graphics/2264922
    My graphic shop ^

      1. TC Founder - Joined the new Taylor Connect during the preview period (Feb 2012 - May 2012)
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    Re: Birthday Show For Tay-12/13

    Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    I see sparks fly whenever Taylor smiles



      1. TC Founder - Joined the new Taylor Connect during the preview period (Feb 2012 - May 2012)
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    Re: Birthday Show For Tay-12/13

    Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    That is so totally cool that they "scheduled" a meteor shower for Taylor's birthday!



    That's cool. I knew that most meteor showers were debrit from the remnants of comets. But I never knew the Geminids were from an asteroid. Astronomy is one of my hobbies. :)

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      1. TC Founder - Joined the new Taylor Connect during the preview period (Feb 2012 - May 2012)
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    Re: Birthday Show For Tay-12/13

    Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    That's amazing!

      1. TC Founder - Joined the new Taylor Connect during the preview period (Feb 2012 - May 2012)
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    Re: Birthday Show For Tay-12/13

    Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Thats so cool and lucky :) x



    Thanks to Calizzle4 and Sm160 for making these ^ amazing graphics!

      1. TC Founder - Joined the new Taylor Connect during the preview period (Feb 2012 - May 2012)
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    Re: Birthday Show For Tay-12/13

    Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    That is really neat. Can anyone tell me how to post my own message?

    Thank you

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