From Cartersville Patch
As you begin hanging holiday lights, cast your gaze upon the universe's natural fireworks, as well.
Astronomers anticipate several meteor showers to take place over the next month. Here are the biggest ones:
Nov. 17: Leonid Meteor Shower
- After years of heavier-than-average showers, the famous Leonids have returned and are expected to peak on Nov. 17 in the pre-dawn hours. These meteors are fast (about 40 miles per second) and can leave trails of smoke, according to Astronomy.com. They will appear to radiate from the constellation Leo the Lion. "Many Leonids are also bright. Usually, the meteors are white or bluish-white, but in recent years some observers reported yellow-pink and copper-colored ones," according to the website.
Dec. 13: Geminid Meteor Shower
- The last shooting star cluster before New Year's is the Geminid Meteor Shower, expected to peak in the pre-dawn hours after midnight between Dec. 13 and Dec. 15. They will be visible in all parts of the sky and streak through the sky at more than 50 meteors per hour, almost a meteor a minute, according to EarthSky.com. The new moon is expected to fall on Dec. 13, making for optimal dark skies—as long as you avoid city lights and clouds, the website states.
Be sure to schedule a night this season to bundle up with some blankets, hot chocolate and enjoy the light show in the sky.
Don't have access to a telescope? If you can't take advantage of Tellus Science Museum's observatory in Cartersville, which opens for tours during special events, maybe NASA's fireball camera at the musuem will capture and record meteors. Daily images from NASA fireball cameras can be viewed at fireballs.ndc.nasa.gov.
Tellus also is currently offering several planetarium shows, including "Live Tour of Tonight’s Sky."
If you're watching for meteor showers, snap some photos and share them with us by clicking "Upload Photos and Videos" or use the camera icon on our mobile apps.