We are currently experiencing one of the best meteor showers of the year. The earth is currently passing through a belt of dust that creates the Geminid Meteor shower. The weekend of December 13, 2014 holds a special treat; this weekend will be the peak of the Geminids. The crisp winter air is clear and a perfect excuse for a campfire. Tonight, you might see 3 to 4 Geminids per hour, at the peak (this weekend) in rural areas you may see 30 to 60 shooting stars every sixty minutes; I’ve seen as many as one hundred meteors per hour during this shower – – yep, more than one per minute.
The streak behind the meteor is called the train. Geminids meteors are known to be bright with long trains. To view Geminids from Sparta TN, find a field where you can view the Northeast sky as far away from city lights as possible. There are many points along Eastland road that are perfect for this. A thermos of hot chocolate or coffee can help you to both stay warm and awake. The meteors will increase as the night wears on, you will see some after 7:00, more after 9:00 and lots of them by midnight. Be sure to give it as least a half hour. Your eyes need to adjust to the dark, and showers come in surges; you may go 10 minutes and not see any, then suddenly you will see several within a minute. The moon will rise after midnight and begin to occlude the visibility but some Geminids will be visible all night long.
Shooting rocks from CragrockUSA.