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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Shooting stars in the forecast

Astronomers were forecasting the ultimate star-studded show over Norway Monday night. They predicted a dazzling display of shooting stars, thanks to remnants of a comet that’s left plenty of dust behind.

The nighttime skies over Norway are supposed to offer some special sights on Monday night. PHOTO: John Stenersen

Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard, known for being Norway’s most enthusiastic astronomer, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he thinks the skies will feature as many as 200 shooting stars per hour. He said the unusual star show should be visible to the naked eye, with no telescopes necessary.

“Monday evening we’re going to see one of our time’s most gorgeous shower of shooting stars, right here in Norway,” claimed Ødegaard, an astrophysicist at the University of Oslo. Ødegaard urged Norwegians to “dress warmly and get out there and have a look,” especially from around 10pm and until after midnight.

He said the bands of comet dust are called Geminisvermen, because it will look like it’s emerging from the star formation for the twins known as Gemini.

State meteorologist Kristian Gislefoss said the weather forecast was good for star gazing, with clear skies over much of the country, even as far north as Spitsbergen. Only the skies over the West Coast may be clouded over.

Ødegaard advised finding the darkest spot possible, to turn off flashlights, look high into the heavens and be patient. “I know folks who have seen Geminisvermen, and have remembered it for the rest of their lives,” he said.

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