"The Geminids are my favorite, because they defy explanation"
“Defying Explanation” Geminid Shower Yours for the Watching Tonight
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You won’t see them as clearly in Manhattan, where as of the day before yesterday, an atheist-paid-for billboard depicting Jesus wearing his Crown of Thorns states: “Keep the Merry” but “Dump the Myth” is prominently displayed at Times Square, or over any other urban sky.
But a dark away-from-city-lights spot gives you a front row center seat to the spectacular Geminid meteor shower.
Having been reminded by email friend Susan, “You should be able to get a perfect view of them from where you live”, I went out onto the deck at 3:30 this morning to find the shower lighting up the sky.
Susan knew that the Geminid meteor shower, touted by scientists as the most “intense” shower of the year, was set to peak between Dec. 13 and 14.
You don’t need a telescope or anything else to view the shower—that lasts for days—from anywhere on earth including your own backyard. You just need a warm winter jacket if you happen to be watching anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.
According to NASA, the shower produces as many as 120 meteors per hour in dark sites under clear weather.
“The Geminids are my favorite,” said NASA astronomer Bill Cooke on the agency’s website, “because they defy explanation.”
It is human nature to be intrigued by things that “defy explanation”.
Standing out there on the deck this morning, I was held captive by one of the most beautiful sights of a lifetime. Between vivid showers, the sky where the meteors had been took on the same kind of patina seen in the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
The show of fireballs in the sky held me enrapt for more than half an hour and I’m hoping to get out there even earlier tonight.
The hectic pace of lifestyles in today’s politically unstable times doesn’t leave much time for sky watching. But last night reminded me of a late September night two years ago in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, when the sad news of colleague David Dastych’s death drove me from my bed to a deck overlooking the Bay. It had been a long time since I had seen starry skies over the ocean and they were so bright I thought of them as lantern-bearing angels.
The stars are just as bright in the skies over the shores of Lake Huron where I now live. Because it is a fresh water lake, Huron reminds me of the fresh water lake known as Sea of Galilee, surely one of the the most revered places on Earth.
To me, the Geminid showers are a most recent reminder of the Great Architect, whose image the culture of the day allows to be ‘borrowed’ by a crass politician; the One the same culture tries so hard to keep pushing aside.
Watching this celestial light show underscores how there are things much bigger than come-and-go politicians and other mere mortals like ourselves.
If you live in an area where fog or low cloud will block your view tonight, a live Ustream feed of the Geminid shower is available on NASA’s website. NASA’s light-activated camera is mounted at their Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala, and will turn on at dusk this evening.
In the struggle for survival after Nov. 6, it is easy to sink into depression.
But signs of the Almighty are everywhere and there for the looking.
“I speak to you continually. My nature is to communicate, though not always in words. I fling glorious sunsets across the sky, day after day after day.” (Psalm 8:1-4; Psalm19: 1-2; 1 Corinthians 6”19; Jeremiah 29:13.)