Published: Thu, December 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Meteor shower to light up sky

Meteor shower to light up sky

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), an average of 40 meteors per hour can be observed during the peak of Geminids meteor shower tomorrow, Friday, December 14 until early Saturday, December 15. Every year, Earth passes through a cloud of debris from an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon. The meteors radiate from the constellation Gemini the Twins (hence their name), near the bright stars Castor and Pollux. Nicknamed the 900-pound gorilla of meteor showers by NASA, they outweigh other dust streams by factors of between 5 to 500!

Heading out to see the Geminid meteor shower?

"Those with really dark skies-away from city and suburb lights-should see as many as 100 Geminids per hour when Gemini is highest around 2 AM", Bill Coa ok, lead of NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office, told Newsweek.

Avoid using flashlights, or use flashlights with red-color settings, to preserve your night vision.

Bundle up and watch one of the best meteor showers before the year ends.

The 46P/Wirtnanen comet, which is about 3/4 of a mile long, should move across the sky the morning of December 16, according to NASA, and binoculars or a telescope will help you get a better view. At this time of year, many northerly regions are quite cold, so be sure to pack warm clothes, blankets and hot drinks.

The rising of a new moon just a few days prior to the shower's peak will mean darker skies, which are ideal conditions under which to observe this spectacle.

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In 2017, some celestial observers counted as many as 160 meteors in an hour during the Geminid meteor shower, according to AccuWeather. The meteors burn off different colors depending on what chemicals they're composed of, but you can expect to see yellow, red, blue-green and violet in the skies.

It is expected that we will be able to start seeing the meteor shower on Thursday 13 December from around 9pm or slightly earlier.

Geminids appear nearly anywhere in the night sky and appear with a yellowish colour in the sky. The shower is associated with 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid that is believed to have collided with another object many years ago.

In ideal conditions, you will be able to see up to 120 shooting stars an hour. Follow our tips at the bottom of the page to find the "best possible" view. However, simply steer clear of bright lights, polluted city areas and skyscrapers to witness nature's magic.

How to watch the Geminid meteor shower in India?

No. The shower is completely visible to the naked eye.

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