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SHINY! Geminid Meteor Shower Begins This Week

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The Geminid Meteor showers are set to peak this week, especially on Thursday and Friday. Um, great date night, anybody? Astronomers studying the phenomenon, David Levy and Stephen Edberg, are terribly enthused: "If you have not seen a mighty Geminid fireball arcing gracefully across an expanse of sky, then you have not seen a meteor.' Those guys are serious!!!

"The Geminid Meteors are usually the most satisfying of all the annual showers, even surpassing the famous Perseids of August....The Geminids perform excellently in any year, but British meteor astronomer, Alastair McBeath, has categorized 2007 as a 'great year'....That means those places from central Asia eastwards across the Pacific Ocean to Alaska are in the best position to catch the very crest of the shower, when the rates conceivably could exceed 120 per hour."

That means stargazers in North America -- yes, you, Los Angeles -- will still get a great view of the show. But what about all the ambient light in the Los Angeles basin that will block out the light from the meteors? Well, it's possible that they will be bright enough to still be seen from the city, but it's also very easy to get out to a more romantic spot: I know, I know, it's bitter cold right now, but if you bundle up, the northern beaches in Malibu or Ventura County might be a nice spot. Ventura County generally has a few great parks that are a short drive from the city (if you're going at night, that is). Or head up north to the Santa Clarita Valley -- Castaic Lake, baby! If you're thinking in an easterly direction, get on the 10 and trundle out to Palm Desert. Other suggestions:

  • Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks
  • Knolls Park in Simi Valley
  • Henninger Flats in Sierra Madre
  • Castaic Lake
    Do you have any great suggestions for where to view the showers this week? Please share!

    Oh...and don't forget to pack a picnic and a great bottle of wine.