A Supermoon & The Geminid Meteor Shower Are Happening At The Same Time In December, Sending 2016 Out With A Bang
Did you miss November's supermoon? How about all of 2016's mesmerizing meteor showers? I have good news for you: You'll have one more shot to witness both before the year comes to an end. The December supermoon and Geminid meteor shower will both hit in the middle of the month, helping us to end 2016 with a bang, rather than a whimper. The Geminids peak on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14; meanwhile, the last supermoon of 2016 is on Dec. 14. Mark your calendars, because you won't want to miss it.
This December's Geminid meteor shower will not disappoint. The meteors will be bold, white, and bright. You'll want to find a dark spot to stargaze, if possible, to get the best view. The shower is expected to start around mid-evening and go until dawn. As the name suggests, it radiates from the Gemini constellation — near the stars Castor and Pollux, specifically. Regardless of whether you're in the Northern or Southern hemisphere, you'll have a chance to spot meteors. There will be as many as 120 each hour, but the brightness of the supermoon will wipe many of them out on the night of the 14th. At the shower's peak, you might catch a dozen, give or take.
Speaking of the supermoon... As we already learned from November's lunar excitement, this is yet another celestial spectacular that deserves our attention. Let me remind you of our most recent supermoon:
Generally, a supermoon refers to a full moon that is closer to the Earth than it would normally be. This is a result of the moon's elliptical orbit, which means that at one point, the moon is about 30,000 miles closer to us than it is at its opposite point. This is call perigee. On Dec. 14, the full moon and perigee happen on the same day. In other words, we'll have a full moon ridiculously close to our planet — a perigee full moon! It can be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter, making you feel like you could almost reach out and grab it.
Depending on your beliefs in astronomy and spirituality, the supermoon could carry even more importance. It essentially equates to a rush of full moon energies, thanks to the extra intense light shining toward earth. This is a great time for emotional healing. If you happen to notice that old drama is resurfacing, don't fret: The light is shining on any negative loose ends we haven't yet addressed; but harness the supermoon's energy properly, and it can be very powerfully positive.
Happy (early) December to us!