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Environment & Outdoors
After a little break (of 25 years or so) Bob King is celebrating his retirement with a return to The North 103.3's airwaves!After almost 40 years with the Duluth News Tribune, Bob is now retired. But scratch a print guy and you'll find a radio guy; King and then-UMD Planetarium Director Glen Langhorst hosted Startalk on KUMD for several years in the early '90s.Listen for Astro Bob every other Tuesday at 8am on Northland Morning.

Astro Bob's Backyard Astronomy: Despite the clouds, a convergence of activity this month.

Geminid Geminids Dec 14 2021 am about 5_30.jpg
Bob King
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A Geminid meteor, December 14th, 2021 at about 5:30 am, photographed by Bob King.

A total solar eclipse, a full moon, winter solstice, a meteor shower, and a comet all occurring in one two-week period.

Though active the past few days, the Geminid meteor shower has been challenged a bit by haze and clouds. Nonetheless, Bob King was able to find a period of clear sky and witnessed dozens of them. They are beginning to diminish, but after the clouds expected over the next couple days, a few may still be visible later in the week. However, because the full moon on Saturday, December 18th – the "Cold moon" – occurs so close to the winter solstice, the moon will be very high in the sky in the Taurus constellation. And with Taurus adjacent to Gemini in the sky, the brightness of the full moon will make observing the remaining Geminids harder to see.

The Leonard comet (C/2021 A1) has now moved beyond the visible sky for those of us in the northern U.S., but those in the southern hemisphere may have a chance to see it as it comes around from behind the sun this weekend. Bob tried to get a photo of it from the plane as he returned recently from an trip to Antarctica to see the 12/04/2021 total solar eclipse. He didn't have any luck, but he caught a great photo of a Geminid meteor this morning.

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