Don’t miss the peak of the Geminid meteor shower

New York, December 13: Widely recognized as the best annual meteor shower a stargazer can see, the Geminids occur between December 4-17, with the best nights to see them on December 13-14, according to The NASA.

Sky watchers in the Northern Hemisphere can see the Geminids beginning around 7.30 to 8 p.m. local time Sunday, and the rate of meteors increases as 2 a.m. approaches.

In the southern hemisphere, good rates will be observed between midnight and sunrise local time on Monday, the US space agency wrote in a blog post, adding that Geminid watchers who observe from midnight to 4 a.m. should capture the most meteors.

The Geminids’ father is 3200 Phaethon, which could be said to be an extinct asteroid or comet.

When Earth passes through trails of dust, or meteoroids, left behind by 3,200 Phaethon, that dust burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, creating the Geminid meteor shower.

The Geminid rate will be even better this year, as the peak of the shower overlaps with a near-new Moon, so there will be darker skies and no moonlight to knock out weaker meteors.

That peak will occur on the night of December 13 through the morning of December 14.

All of the meteors associated with a shower have similar orbits, and they all appear to come from the same place in the sky, which is called radiant. The Geminids appear to radiate from one point in the constellation Gemini, hence the name “Geminids”.

Geminids travel at 35 km / s, which is more than 1,000 times faster than a cheetah, about 250 times faster than the world’s fastest car, and more than 40 times faster than a speeding bullet.

To observe the Geminids, try to get away from bright lights, lie on your back, and look up.

Stargazers must allow their eyes to adjust to the dark, which can take about half an hour.

Disclaimer: This story is automatically generated from the IANS service.

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