Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Best Ways to Watch the Geminid Meteor Shower With Your Kids

Best Ways to Watch the Geminid Meteor Shower With Your Kids

Google's paying homage to the Geminids today with a special doodle that walks one through the meteors' path.

Meteors will be visible beginning 8 p.m., but they will be more prominent past midnight and will last until 5 a.m. Friday.

Tonight they will be visible from 9pm but will reach their peak at 2am.

According to Dark Sky Discovery, the United Kingdom has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe, meaning our chances of observing the Geminids in their full glory are high.

Have you ever seen a sky full of shooting stars?

Those who do plan to go outside to try and see the meteors should be sure to bundle up if it's cold where they are and should give their eyes at least half an hour to adjust to the dark before the peak of the show around 2 a.m.

The Geminids meteor shower has a Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) of 120. "From the Southern Hemisphere, observers should see fewer but still plenty of medium-speed meteors once Gemini rises above the horizon after midnight local time".

Geminid meteor showers occur when moves through the debris from asteroid 3200 Phaeton as it orbits the sun.

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The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks late at night on Thursday into the wee hours of the morning Friday, could bring more than 100 meteors per hour to light pollution-free skies in dark areas around the world, according to NASA.

The radiant, or apparent source of the meteor shower, is near the bright star Castor in the constellation Gemini, Sky & Telescope reports.

The doodle, while not animated, is a super-adorable slideshow that depicts the evolution of the Geminid meteor shower from its parent body, the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, to the fantastic celestial event we know today.

The visible period of the shower is from December 4-December 17 but they are most active from December 13-14.

The Geminid shower comes as news of a "Christmas comet" is expected to pass earth later this week.

The Geminid meteors come from an asteroid with the name 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid that orbits the sun every 1.4 years. So gear up because this dazzling meteor shower is not one you'll want to miss!

But if you won't be up in those early hours, you can also start watching a couple hours after sunset; the moon will set at about 10:30 p.m. local time on December 13, and about 11 p.m. local time on December 14, so just look after that on either of those nights.

To experience the celestial show, you do not need to have a telescope or binoculars.

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