Eyes in the sky: Weekend meteor shower on

14 December, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Bridget Leonard
  • The year's most spectacular meteor shower is this weekend

As winter cold hits much of the Northern Hemisphere, the reliable Geminid meteor shower peaks in the middle of the month, rewarding those willing to bundle up and venture out into the night.

And though the Geminids were first documented in the 1860s, this meteor shower is relatively new.

The Geminid meteor shower peaks this week, so hope for clear skies that will let you see a attractive show of green fireballs on Thursday and Friday.

"If you've got a clear, dark sky with no light pollution, you might see a meteor streak across the sky every minute or two from 10 p.m. until dawn on the night of the peak", Hannikainen said.

Here's one great option: the Dubai Astronomy Group will be holding a special public event on Friday evening at Al Qudra lakes from 10pm until 4am. Light from the moon makes it harder to see some fainter meteors, so it's best to wait until it sets to head outside. You can book tickets for the session here. Most meteor showers really don't perform until after midnight.

"Even though the Geminids are rich in attractive green fireballs, the lights of New York, San Francisco, or Atlanta will blot even them out".

The meteors are known as the Geminids because they appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini.


Geminids Metor Shower in 2018 wil be the best ever seen, said Google.

But when should you look? The dust created by Phaeton burn up when it enters Earth's atmosphere causing the "shooting stars" visible from the ground. The debris shed by 3200 Phaethon crashes into Earth's upper atmosphere at extremely high speed, to vaporize as colorful Geminid meteors. It has also put out a blog post on how to watch the Geminid meteor shower this year.

The Geminid shower happens each year at this time, as Earth passes through the huge debris cloud left behind by the object 3200 Phaethon, an odd blue asteroid that may be an extinct comet.

Vox reported that the Geminids originate from a small, three-mile-wide asteroid named 3200 Phaethon. That will be Comet 46P/Wirtanen which will be making its closest approach to Earth (7 million miles) for the next 20 years!

Despite being referred to as a meteor 'shower, ' that is more often than not an overstatement, according to Filippenko.

For optimal viewing conditions, the sky must be clear, get as far away from city lights as possible, and face south.

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