An Arizona meteor shower is due to hit its peak this weekend, and an amazing preview of things to come was visible in the Arizona skies on Tuesday.
The exploding meteor may have shaken some windows and scared a few residents, but it produced a spectacular night display even though it wasn’t officially part of the Geminid meteor shower.
An expert from NASA, Bill Cooke, spoke to reporters about the Arizona meteor shower:
“It [the meteor explosion] was picked up by two of our meteor cameras in New Mexico as well as cameras in Arizona and the preliminary trajectory shows that it was definitely not a Geminid. It was moving way too slow and coming from the wrong direction.”
The relevant authorities are currently scouring an area near Tuscon as they search for remnants of the meteor which allegedly entered the earth’s atmosphere at around 7 pm on Tuesday.
The scientists want to plot the meteor’s course accurately. Generally, they are only permitted to track the meteors on public land, but they are now asking for permission to enter private properties so they can track more accurately.
This year’s Geminid meteor shower is going to peak during the early morning hours of December 13 to 14. If you are able to find a good spot, and can bear the cold, you should be able to see around 100 different meteors.
Around 4 am is thought to be the best time to catch the show as the moon sets. Usually, midnight is considered to be the best time to see the action, but this year, due to the moon, the early morning is better.
Cooke advised people on the best way to see the Arizona meteor shower: “The best thing to do to observe meteors is to lie flat on your back and look straight up. You don’t want to look at Gemini, you just want to look straight up and take in as much of the sky as possible because meteors can appear anywhere in the sky and the more sky you see, the better you chance of seeing a meteor.”