Geminid Meteor Shower peaks mid-week

12 December, 2017, 17:24 | Author: Devin Moran
  • Geminid Meteor Shower peaks mid-week

For stargazers and the general public, the Geminid meteor shower is important for being not only the last major meteor shower of the year but also one of the most impressive.

From 5 to 17 December, the Ukrainians in the sky to see the last meteor shower this year - the Geminids stream.

This stunning wonder of nature takes place as our planet travels through the tail of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, which is due to brush nail-bitingly close to our planet on December 17.

NASA estimates up to 120 meteors per hour could be seen streaking across all parts of the sky.

"The Geminids offer slow, brighter than average meteors with some having hints of color, reds and yellows", said Eric Vandernoot, astronomy and physics lab coordinator at Florida Atlantic University.

They are travelling at about 22 miles per second when they smash into the atmosphere and disintegrate 24 miles above the surface of Earth.

He said, "And those that streak through the atmosphere are called meteors".

The most meteors will be visible from midnight to 4 a.m. on Thursday, when the radiant is highest in the sky.

Attention, stargazers: the orbiting object spewing space dust that creates the Geminid meteor shower will be closer to Earth than it has been in recent memory. The shower will remain overnight December 13-14 with rates approximately one per minute under suitable circumstances, according to Cooke.


The observatory at the Telus World of Science will be open for people wishing to view the Geminid shower on Wednesday and Thursday from 7 p.m.to 10 p.m., weather permitting. It will peak around 2am, when the sky is darkest. "As for the best of the year, well, that often depends on the lunar phase at the time".

"The thin, waning crescent Moon won't spoil the show", Cooke said.

When is the Geminid meteor shower?

"By morning, (the meteors) will seem to be raining down on you". If you're in a cold area, dress warmly and grab a blanket to lie down (ideally somewhere far away from light pollution).

Wherever you go, Ingram suggests giving your eyes 30 minutes or so to adjust to darkness, and bundling up to stay warm.

If you want to wish upon a star, you may just get your wish ... this week. "If you end up in the constellation Gemini, there's a good chance you've seen a Geminid".

Find Orion from its belt and look up and to the left to find Gemini.

But the best view will be away from city lights.

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