Science

Geminid meteor shower: Where, when and how to see it

Geminid meteor shower: Where, when and how to see it”

While we are treated to several meteor showers throughout the year, most pale in comparison to the grand finale - the Geminids.

During this meteor shower, meteorologists are forecasting that hundreds of meteors will shoot through the sky - some visible even in the early evening hours.

Meteors can be seen under a dark and cloudless sky and just after midnight of its peak activity, PAGASA said. Instead, they tend to zip across the skies in clumps - about every five to seven minutes.

Dress in warm layers and respect the elements; bring supplies like hand-warmers or coffee in a thermos and don't stray far from your vehicle or other warm location in case you find yourself getting too cold.

For optimal viewing, it's recommended you drive away from the city and any bright lights; however, because this particular shower is expected to be so active, it's likely you'll be able to see some from your own backyard. This isn't just a few comets moving across the sky.

The Geminid meteor shower itself was first noted in the 1860s.

The Geminid meteor shower will be most visible over Norfolk on December 13.

Early night stargazers should turn their backs to the moon and allow their eyes to adjust to the darkness for about a half hour. This year, you can expect to see 100-120 meteors an hour in dark skies. "Little bits of rock will burn up as they zip through Earth's upper atmosphere", said Filippenko, and thereby create the poorly named phenomenon known as a "shooting star" or "falling star", which "are not stars at all, of course!"

The streaks you'll see are actually debris soaring behind the rocky object 3200 Phaethon, which circles the sun every 1.4 years. "Because of dust and smog, the friction of the heated meteor won't be visible", Siddharth Madan, an educator and astronomy enthusiast, Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi, told Down To Earth.

The Met Office says, 'The best time to view the Geminids is between sunset, local time and before sunrise.

Stargazers and others willing to fearless the cold Thursday and Friday nights are in for a cosmic treat: the Geminid meteor shower is coming. If you are in India, the best time to watch it is from midnight (12 am) to 2 am on December 14 (Friday). "That means you can face any direction to watch the shower".



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