Together with the Perseids, the Geminids meteor shower is the biggest star shooting event of the year. This astronomical phenomenon occurs when small particles of dust from comet fragments, or asteroids, collide with the atmosphere of our planet. This year, the best times to witness Geminids will coincide with the nights of Thursday, December 13th, and Friday, December 14th, although they can be observed between December 4th and December 17th.
The point in the sky where the meteors seem to be “born,” as their radiant is the constellation of the Gemini, located near Orion. The moon, which is crescent, will cease to be visible at midnight, allowing stargazers to enjoy the spectacle. Thus, an observer will be able to see a meteor every two minutes on average if it is located in a dark place, without light pollution.
Geminids are a meteor shower that can be seen from both hemispheres. In the Northern Hemisphere, the activity will be more significant, because the radiant will be higher on the horizon. Although from the southern skies you will also be able to observe a large number of meteors. It is advisable to lie down, fix your gaze on an area of the sky and maintain it, at least, for a few minutes to be able to appreciate the meteor shower.
Geminids Meteor Shower Reaches It Peak Between December 13th and 14th
The annual meteor shower of the Geminids reaches its peak on the night of between December 13th and December 14th This year, the astronomical phenomenon will benefit from the darkness provided by the new Moon on December 14th. The frequency of meteors in the sky is expected to be one per minute under optimal observation conditions.
Geminids are active every December when the Earth passes through a massive trail of dusty debris thrown by a strange, rocky object called 3200 Phaeton. The debris burnt when the space rock meets the Earth’s atmosphere is causing a burst of “shooting stars.” The less artificial lighting there is in the observation area and the clearer the sky, the better are the conditions to see the event.
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