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Night Skies in December

ColumnHead-StargazingIf comet ISON survives its close encounter with the sun November 28 it will be visible in the sky at dusk in December.

The Geminid meteor shower peaks December 13-14, 2013, mid-evening until dawn. The Geminids are one of the finest meteor showers, rivalling the Perseid shower in August. The Geminids originate near the bright stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini (the Twins). Typically 50 to 100 meteors per hour should be visible at the peak. The moon is full December 17, but Geminid meteors are often bright, so they should still be clearly visible. Geminid meteors are often as good in the evening as in the hours between midnight and dawn. Due to the bright waxing gibbous moon, best viewing will be in the mornings of December 13 and 14, from moonset until dawn.

The Sunshine Coast Chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society (RASC) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Friday of every month. Our next meeting is our Club Christmas Party and quiz night for members at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, Medusa Street at Trail Avenue, Sechelt, on December 13.

The RASC also holds an “Astro Café” at Pier 17 in Davis Bay at 8 p.m. on the thirdFriday of every month. In December Astro Café will be December 20. Bring your telescope, binoculars, or just yourself.


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