Tag Archives: winter

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.

Michigan energy appraisal estimates lower bills

The state says its bi-annual energy appraisal shows that residents will have a bit more money in their pockets this Winter.

Judy Palnau is a media specialist with the Michigan Public Service Commission. She says although unit price has risen for natural gas users, overall they should be paying less.

“Bills will be going down despite the fact that natural gas prices per unit are expected to be up. Last year was actually the reverse. We were paying an 11-year low per unit of natural gas, but because we were using so much more of it to keep warm, many people saw their bills actually go up, despite the lower price.”

Palnau says the estimate is based on the assumption that Michigan will have a return to normal winter weather this year.

We spoke to the National Weather Service office in Gaylord. Their meteorologists say Michigan will likely see a slightly colder than normal winter, however it will be nowhere near as cold as last year’s Polar Vortex.

The MPSC says even if Michigan has another remarkably cold Winter, there is enough energy stored to avoid a crisis.

Energy costs, demand expected to increase this summer

file0001691310751This past winter season impacted more than just Michigan roads.

State officials say the brutal winter and the polar vortex is also likely to impact summer energy prices. Read more