Posted on Leave a comment

Greatest meteor shower of the year occurs this weekend – meet the Geminids meteors

5 image thumb5

Look, up in the sky -it’s the Geminids!

Forget the often-disappointing Perseids meteor shower – Geminids is not only better, it’s predicted to be especially cool this weekend. The Geminids shower has been strengthening in recent years and already surpasses every meteor shower of the year. This year, we’re holding out hope that the show is even better than last year’s brilliant display.

The space big-wigs are predicting 120 meteors per hour (visible from a dark sky) but more realistically, we can expect to see 60-80 per hour – which is still a lot! Also, unlike most meteor showers which require us to wake up early or stay up all night, Geminids produces a good show before midnight.

On Saturday night, around 9:00 PM, start watching for the meteors to stream to the east. If you start watching around 9:00 PM, you’ll have a good three hours or so before the quarter Moon rises around midnight. And you don’t really have to pick a direction to watch the shower, just lay in a lawn chair and look up!

All about the annual Geminids meteor shower

The Geminids meteor shower is an annual event that takes place in mid-December. It is named after the constellation Gemini because the meteors appear to originate from the constellation’s direction. The shower is caused by the Earth passing through the debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon.

The Geminids meteor shower is unique because it is made up of debris from an asteroid rather than a comet. This means that the meteors are made up of denser material and burn brighter and longer than other meteor showers. The Geminids are also known for producing a high number of bright and colorful meteors, making them a favorite among stargazers and astronomers.

Geminids meteors shoot across the sky at about 22 miles per second. Colors can vary from red, blue, white to yellow and green. Although most meteor showers are caused by pieces of debris loosening from an icy comet as it nears the Sun, the Geminids are not caused by Earth crossing a comet’s path but rather – the path of an asteroid. The 3200 Phaethon asteroid gets in Earth’s way every year in mid-December and spews a stream of dust caused by the heating of the Sun and providing us with the year’s most spectacular meteor display.

How to watch the Geminids meteor shower

To witness the Geminids meteor shower, you will need to find a location away from city lights and other sources of light pollution. The best time to view the shower is after midnight, when the constellation Gemini is high in the sky. On a clear night, you can expect to see anywhere from 50 to 100 meteors per hour.

The importance of the Geminids meteor shower

While the Geminids meteor shower is a breathtaking sight to see, it is also an important event for astronomers. By studying the meteors, scientists can learn more about the composition of asteroids and the early solar system. They can also use the shower to track the orbit of 3200 Phaethon and better understand its behavior.

A Geminids meteor shoots across they sky
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *