Break Out the Telescopes – Geminids Are Here

December 15, 2010

Culture

I love stargazing. When I was young, we were too poor to get a telescope or anything. HOW I wanted one, so badly! I just love being out in the country, soaking in the solitude, looking at the gently rotating planets and twinkling stars. I used to wonder what was out there.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The news has had a few space stories lately. Did you hear about the Geminids? It’s a spectacular meteor shower. It’s called the Geminid meteor shower because it appears to come out of the constellation Gemini. I saw the Leonids a few years ago, and THAT was incredible. The Geminids peaked December 13th and 14th, but from what I hear, you can still see them. Well, WE can’t. We’re being clobbered with lake effect snow, so the skies are cloudy.

I also heard that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached the edge of the solar system. That thing was launched in 1977, and is still going strong! The craft has traveled 10.8 billion miles from the sun (so far) and is rocketing toward a region called “heliopause” at 38,000 miles per hour. Boy, would I LOVE to see pictures of what it’s seeing!

Well, there’s a Christmas gift tip for you– telescopes! OpticsPlanet has a whole bunch on sale right now. They actually have a ton of stuff for the outdoor and science-minded enthusiast: binoculars, camping gear, knives, flashlights, microscopes, and loads more. I always prefer getting educational gifts for the kids, personally. I think children WANT educational gifts, like telescopes and camping gear. For one, they last longer and kids get year-round enjoyment out of them. And two, you don’t have to spend a fortune on batteries!

I never got my telescope, did you know that? Hm, maybe I should put in a request….

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