Annual Geminid meteor shower

Skygazers delight! Annual Geminid meteor shower set for this weekend will see more than 100 multi-colored shooting stars per hour streaking through the sky at 78,000mph

shooting stars

The cosmic show will occur between December 4 and December 17, with the best nights for viewing on the evening of December 13 and into morning on the following day. Pictured is the event over Arizona in 2017

  • The annual Geminid meteor shower is set to peak December 13 into the 14th
  • Viewers could see more than 100 multi-colored shooting stars per hour
  • They will shine yellow, green, blue and red as they streak through the sky 
  • The Northern Hemisphere will have the best viewing starting around 8pm ET
  • The Southern Hemisphere will have the same views after midnight local time

More than 100 multi-colored shooting stars are set to streak across the night sky this weekend during the peak of the Geminid meteor shower.

The cosmic show will occur between December 4 and December 17, with the best nights for viewing on the evening of December 13 and into morning on the following day.

NASA says the Northern Hemisphere will be able to see the stunning event all throughout the night of the 13th, with activity peaking around 8pm ET, and after midnight for viewers in the Southern Hemisphere.

The stars while shine bright yellow, blue, green and red as they travel some 78,000 mph and those that shine the brightest will leave a glowing trail along their path.

Diana Hannikainen, observing editor at Sky & Telescope, said in a statement: ‘It’s worth braving the cold during this shower’s peak.’

‘The Geminids offer the best display of ‘shooting stars’ all year.’

‘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 10pm until dawn on the night of the peak.’

Geminids are a trail of dust left behind the comet 3200 Phaethon several thousands of years ago and appears to radiate from a point in the constellation Gemini.

shooting stars

More than 100 multi-colored shooting stars are set to streak across the night sky this weekend during the peak of the Geminid meteor shower. Pictured is the Geminid meteor shower seen from Pawna lake near Lonavala on December 14, 2017 in Mumbai, India

The shower was first reported in 1862, but it was not until 1983 did scientists determine Phaethon was the source.

The parent comet is only about three miles across and travels around the sun every 1.4 years and sheds its dust every time it nears Earth’s parent star- the dust is the size of peas.

‘If it’s not cloudy, get away from bright lights, lie on your back, and look up. Remember to let your eyes get adjusted to the dark – you’ll see more meteors that way,’ NASA shard in a statement.

‘Keep in mind, this adjustment can take approximately 30 minutes. Don’t look at your cell phone screen, as it will ruin your night vision!’

The meteors are also some of the fastest – they speed through the night sky 1,000 times quicker than a cheetah, 250 times faster than the speediest car in the world and more than 40 times faster than a speeding bullet.

‘The Geminids produce a good number of meteors most years, but they’re made even better this year as the shower’s peak coincides with a nearly new moon,’ NASA stated.

‘So here’s wishing you clear skies to catch some shooting stars.’

Post courtesy of Mail Online

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