GEMINID METEOR SHOWER: The annual Geminid meteor shower
peaks tonight, Dec. 13-14, as Earth passes through a stream of gravelly
debris from "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon. Dark-sky observers in both
hemispheres could see as many as 120 meteors per hour during the dark
hours between local midnight and sunrise on Dec. 14th. Last night, Dec.
12-13, NASA's all-sky meteor network detected 15 Geminid fireballs over
the USA. That number will surely increase tonight when the shower peaks.
Visit Spaceweather.com for more information.
MAGNETIC STORM ON A COMET: Earth isn't the only place
with geomagnetic storms. Comets can have them, too. Such a storm appears
to be underway in the sinuous blue ion tail of Comet Catalina (C/2013
US10). Observers with backyard telescopes are monitoring the event with
photos highlighted on today's edition of Spaceweather.com