Shooting Stars

2012-12-14 16:11:45.000 – Steve Welsh,  Weather Observer/IT Specialist

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Yesterday evening we were treated to a great celestial ‘firework’ display as a major meteor shower occurred overhead. For once the fog stayed away, the sky was crystal clear and there was hardly any background light due to a new moon. The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks this year on December 13th and 14th, is by far the most intense meteor shower of the year. It often lasts for days and includes everything from small dust grains, giving us those typical short lived streaks that flash across the sky, to larger particles which often lead to bright explosions as they burn up. While watching several of these ‘shooting stars’ flash by each minute I was thinking about the billions of years these grains have been happily orbiting around the the solar system only to be destroyed in a final burst of flames in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Looking at the current conditions we certainly won’t be seeing any meteors tonight as the freezing fog is back with a vengeance. The winds are also beginning to ramp up and the temperature is falling steadily. Looking at the forecast models it appears we’ll be seeing some real wintry weather later this weekend, perhaps we’ll finally get some snow – time to find those shovels.

 

Steve Welsh,  Weather Observer/IT Specialist

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