Science

The Most Spectacular Meteor Shower of the Year Is Upon Us

The Most Spectacular Meteor Shower of the Year Is Upon Us”

Mr Magro said his workshop would coincide with the showers' projected peak of December 13-14, meaning attendees will have time to learn and practice their night photography skills with Mr Magro on the 9th, before the Geminids peaks.

The Geminid meteor shower is distinctive insofar as it's not caused by a comet, but rather an asteroid with many properties of a comet. The meteor shower will begin to be visible on Thursday and last through about December 17.

NASA, meanwhile, refers to it as a "rock comet", which is a newly discovered type of asteroid that passes so close to the sun that debris is blasted off its surface. This year should offer a wonderful meteor show.

It's time to make a Christmas wish on some shooting stars.

The shower is active for a two week period from December 4 to December 17 and with the Moon already set, stargazers can see anywhere from 70 to 120 meteors per hour. This point or "radiant" is in the constellation for which the shower is named.

In some years, the moon is at a large phase all or most of the night and its bright light washes out our view of most of the meteors.

The Geminids radiate from Gemini the Twins which will be overhead at 1:30 a.m.

The Geminids are usually one of the best meteor showers of the year.

You can start watching the skies this evening, but the shower won't peak until late night on Wednesday, Dec. 13 and into the early morning hours of Dec. 14. If you live in the United Kingdom, with its unending proclivity for leaden skies, you may not be so lucky but don't despair; you may still get a chance to see some ethereal pairings of the crescent moon with the planets Jupiter and Mars instead.

The a year ago that there were similarly favorable conditions for the Geminids I saw 68 of them in my best hour, along with about 14 meteors from other directions.

Proximity to bright city lights can also adversely effect your viewing experience according to Earth Sky, so get as far away from population centers as you can. Geminids come in all colors, sometimes have boisterous flaring, bursting flights, and sometimes leave lingering, luminous trails. The few Geminids that do occur then, however, will tend to be "earthgrazers" - meteors with incredibly long flights, sometimes nearly all the way across the sky. You'll begin seeing them in the sky as early as 9 or 10 p.m. local time, no matter where you are.



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