A spectacular Geminid meteor shower is set to grace the skies tonight. The astronomical phenomenon will be at its peak on the night of December 13 until the early hours of December 14 due to a moonless night.
Anyone can see the bright shooting stars light up the sky tonight, as meteor showers don’t require binoculars or telescopes to see, just your bare eyes.
What is a Geminid meteor shower?
According to a PTI report, the Geminid meteor shower is the most intense meteor shower of the year, planetarium director MP Birla and well-known astrophysicist Debiprasad Duari said in a statement on Saturday.
By a NASA definition, the Geminids began to appear in the mid-1800s. However, the first showers were not remarkable with only 10-20 meteors seen per hour. Since then, the Geminids have grown to become one of the most important rains of the year. During its peak, 120 Geminid meteors can be seen per hour in perfect conditions. Geminids are bright, fast meteors and tend to be yellow in color.
According to a report from Space.com, the Geminids appear to emanate from the bright constellation Gemini, the twins. The Geminids are considered one of the best meteor showers each year because individual meteors are bright and come fast and furious. In 2019, due to the nearly full moon, the Geminids only produced about 20 to 30 can be visible per hour. Although best visible from the northern hemisphere, the Geminid meteors can also be seen from the southern hemisphere.
When can you see the Geminid shower?
“While it is expected around December 13 and 14 at night, you can probably see some meteors in the early afternoon of December 14 as well,” said astrophysicist Duari, quoted by PTI.
Also, at the peak of the meteor as predicted, in the middle of the night from December 13 to 14, around 1 to 2 am, it will provide an opportunity to observe the “celestial fireworks,” said Duari.
This year, according to predictions, it may be possible to see 150 meteors per hour since the sky is dark and clear.
Even after the peak, bright meteors can be visible for the next few days.
The Geminid meteor shower can be seen from anywhere in India if sky conditions are favorable, PTI reported.
What time can we see the Geminids meteor?
The best time to observe the Geminids is around 2 a.m. local time, Space.com reported.
“Meteors tend to peak around 2 am local time wherever you are observing, but can be seen from 9 to 10 pm,” the report said.
How to get the best view of the Geminid meteor shower?
According to Space.com, meteor showers don’t require binoculars or telescopes to see, just your bare eyes. “Give your eyes about 20-30 minutes to adjust to the dark, then sit back and enjoy the show,” the report says.
According to a report from earthsky.org, 50 or more meteors can often be captured per hour. On an optimal night for the Geminids, it is possible to see 150 meteors per hour, which could happen this year, given the moonless skies that accompany this year’s Geminid meteor shower.
PTI reported that one should not be alarmed at seeing this “celestial phenomenon, as these meteors will not cause harm to anything on Earth,” said astrophysicist Duari.