Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

Tonight’s Forecast Calls for (Meteor) Showers

Date: 13 December 2018
Category: Grammar

The Geminid meteor shower tonight (December 13th) should be spectacular: experts estimate up to 120 meteors an hour at its peak. By the way, a meteor expert is called a meteorist, not a meteorologist, or weather forecaster. Also, be careful to not confuse a meteorologist with a metrologist,  a person who studies weights and measures.

The asteroid “3200 Phaethon” is responsible for this meteor shower, orbiting the sun closer than any other asteroid. This asteroid heats up to about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit on its closest approach to the sun. It is while it is at that point near the sun that causes it to shed dusty debris. The net result of these particles causes meteor showers as they plunge into the Earth’s atmosphere at 22 miles per second, and then vaporize in the streaks we call “shooting stars.”
Before you decide to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to look for these shooting stars, however, note that the local Atlanta meteorologists are calling for cloudy weather with rain showers tonight, which would put a damper on the showers occurring above the clouds.

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