Last fall, researchers with the Kepler Planet Hunters program announced that one of the stars they were studying, KIC 8462852, was experiencing brief but dramatic dips in its brightness, leading to speculation that the effect might be caused by extraterrestrial megastructures in orbit around the star.
We were treated to the latest Leonid meteor storm last month, and now it?s time for the annual Geminid meteor shower, which peaks this year on December 13th and 14th. You can see it best beginning just after sunset today, Thursday, Dec. 13th.
?When the Sun goes down on Thursday,? says Bill Cooke of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, ?You won?t see many meteors then, but the ones you do will likely be beautiful Earthgrazers.? Earthgrazers are long, vivid meteroids that fly over the horizon nearly parallel to the atmosphere. ?Around midnight go back outside,? he suggests. ?From midnight until dawn on Friday, Dec.14th, you could spot as many as 100 shooting stars per hour.? Cooke?s suggestions will work for observers in any time zone of the United States or Europe.