Two Reasons To Check Rockford’s Skies This Week
Unless the last things in the world you'd find interesting are the final full moon of the decade and a meteor shower.
The last full moon of the decade will appear tonight at 11:12pm Rockford time, according to AccuWeather.
Seasoned sky-watchers say you should catch the moon when it rises low on the horizon. An optical illusion will make the moon look bigger than it really is, and the moon will shine brightly in areas with clear skies.
December's full moon is known as the "cold moon." Its nickname traces back to when Native Americans used the full moon to track the calendar, giving the moon its name to recognize the long, cold winter nights.
Next comes the Geminid Meteor Shower, which promises to be the best meteor shower of the year, with up to 120-150 meteors per hour.
AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel:
Arguably the best meteor shower of the entire year peaks on Friday night into the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Geminids shower is just as or slightly more active than the Perseids meteor shower of August.
This meteor shower in particular is a good one for younger children that cannot stay up late into the night.
The Geminids are unique in the fact it produces a large amount of meteors during the evening. Hourly rates will gradually increase as the night transpires, with the number of Geminid meteors streaking across the night sky expected to climax after midnight.
The 2019 showing of the Geminids may bring as many as 150 meteors per hour, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS), but people looking to check them out may meet with mixed results as the shower peaks the night after December’s full Cold Moon.