WEEKEND METEORS: Earth is entering a stream of debris from extinct comet 3200 Phaethon, and this is causing the annual Geminid meteor shower. The shower is expected to peak on Dec. 13th and 14th. Normally, as many as 100 meteors per hour shoot out of the constellation Gemini, but this year a bright Moon will interfere with the display, reducing hourly counts to only 20 or so. That's could still be a nice show. For best results, watch the sky from 10 pm local time on Saturday night (Dec 13th) until dawn on Sunday morning (Dec. 14th).
BIGGEST FULL MOON OF THE YEAR: The Moon that's causing trouble for the Geminid display happens to be biggest full Moon of 2008, as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser Moons we've seen earlier this year. An astronomer would say this is a "perigee Moon" because it occurs at perigee, the side of the Moon's elliptical orbit closest to Earth. Go outside tonight and take a look. The meteor rate may be low, but the lunar beauty index is off the charts.
Check http://spaceweather.com for updates and more information.
BONUS: The Dec. 1st Great Conjunction Photo Gallery continues to grow with daily additions from around the world. Start browsing here: http://spaceweather.com/