Tag Archives: pollution

Geminid meteor shower expected to wow this weekend

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If you love the night sky, try to set some time aside over the next several evenings for one of the best meteor showers of the year, the geminids.

The geminid meteor shower will be taking place over the next few days, with astronomy experts predicting it to peak Saturday and Sunday.

Mary Adams is the Director of the International Dark Sky Park in Emmet County.

She said this meteor shower is one of the most prolific meteor showers of the year, and one you won’t want to miss.

“The estimate is that there can be between 120 and 160 meteors per hour, so that’s more than one per minute. That’s a lot of activity.”

Adams said despite the shower’s greater quantity of meteors, some light pollution from the moon may hinder peak viewing hours.

She said, “We are at the last quarter moon when the meteor shower comes to it’s peak, and the last quarter moon can still shed a great deal of light into the sky. So we might not be seeing those numbers just because of the light of the moon, but it still should be a magnificent show this year.”

She said since the geminid typically appears earlier in the evening, anytime after 10pm should be fine for viewing.

The next meteor shower, Ursid, takes place around the winter solstice December 21st.

Time is running short for Consumers Energy to meet an April deadline

The clock is ticking down for Consumers Energy’s Karn-Weadock plant in Bay County as an April 16th deadline to meet federal air quality standards approaches.

Consumers Energy is in the midst of an upgrade to two of its coal plants in a move that could reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 95%. This would place Consumers within the federal air quality limits.

Dan Bishop, Director of Media Relations at Consumers Energy, said the reduction in sulfur emissions aren’t the only benefit Michigan residents will receive from the upgrades.

“There are other acid gases that are impacted. So customers are getting their moneys worth when it comes to this kind of investment. A side note, this means that about two hundred building trade jobs [created] out at the plant, and theres been an emphasis on hiring from Michigan based companies”, he said.

Bishop said the new filtration system will reduce toxicity by essentially working as a vacuum, pulling harmful compounds out of the air.

The compounds will be either recycled back into the filtration system or brought to a landfill.

Bishop said the project is about half way done, as upgrades have already been applied to one plant. He said work on the second will begin in the first quarter of next year.