Hot Tub Astronomy: Catch the Geminids Meteor Shower This Saturday

December 12, 2014

 Time lapse-photo showing the Geminids over Pendleton, OR. Credit: Thomas W. Earle

December 12, 2014

Hot tub astronomers alert: see a shower from the your hot tub.  What’s the best place to view the night sky? While soaking in your Hot Spring Spa, of course. And, this weekend the view will be even more spectacular.

The Geminids meteor shower happens this week, and you have a front row seat in your backyard. The spectacle will come to you while you relax and enjoy nature.

The shower results from an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon whose orbit around the sun resembles a comet’s – rock dust trails behind when it comes closest to the sun, and the Earth passes through this debris each December. Contact with our atmosphere turns some of those rocks into colorful meteors – at least 120 an hour, and sometimes 200 or more.

For best viewing, check out our 5 tips:

1. Go outside as close to the shower’s peak as possible – this year it will be Saturday night, although the show will continue until about Dec. 17.

2. Give your eyes time to adjust to the dark – at least 20 minutes.

3. Look straight up.

4.  If it’s too cloudy or the sky is too light-polluted check out live broadcasts at NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center and the Slooh Space Camera.  

5.  Relax. The asteroid won’t hit us. It’s at least eight times as far away as the moon.

Enjoy the light show alone, share it with a friend, or host a viewing party in the hot tub. With a Hot Spring Spa from Olympic Hot Tub, the sky’s the limit.

For more on the Geminids, see The Universe Today, a great astronomy resource for the backyard astronomer.

RES EST SERVAS VOLUPTAS as the Romans said it. Pleasure is a serious business.

More on Hot Tub Astronomy:

Exposure to Nature Boosts Your Immunity: Soak in Your Backyard Hot Tub

Hot Tub Astronomy: 3 Ways to Enjoy the Night Sky From Your Hot Tub