Geminids Meteor shower to peak on 13th & 14th December

The Geminids, the year’s most accessible meteor shower, will peak this week. It is possible to see dozens of meteors streaking across the sky at the peak of the Geminids Meteor Shower, which occurs on December 13 and 14.  One can witness the streaks of glorious meteors in a clear sky away from the lights of city.

Why Geminids Meteor Shower is So Unique

The Geminids are “one of the finest and most dependable annual meteor showers,” as NASA puts it. In ideal conditions (new moon, bright skies), the Geminids meteor shower may emit 100–150 meteors each hour. But only 30–40 meteors per hour will be seen in the Northern Hemisphere this year due to the bright moon. However, NASA assures that “this should still be a fantastic show” since the Geminids are so dazzling.

Geminids meteor shower

The 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid, is the source of the Geminids, making them distinct from other meteor showers. On Oct. 11, 1983, the 3200 Phaethon was discovered. Phaethon, the son of Helios, the Greek Sun god, is honoured with the eponymous name. It takes around 1.4 years to complete one orbit of the Sun. The 3200 Phaethon’s orbit brings it closer and closer to the Sun, heating up the rocks on its surface to the point where the rocks melt and shatter. The Geminids are formed when Earth travels through the debris path left by these comets.


Where to watch Geminids?

Some of the meteor streaks this year will be obscured by the light of the bright gibbous moon, as indicated before. In order to increase the chances of a good viewing, one should travel to a spot far away from the bustle of cities. Although, pollution levels in India can make it difficult to see Geminids meteor shower, in places devoid of artificial light and air pollution, the showers may be seen without the use of any specific instruments. It might take up to 30 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the darkness, so be patient. Furthermore, spectators should avoid using their smartphones whenever possible during the shower, since doing so might impair their night vision.

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