Published: Thu, December 12, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Geminid meteor shower coming into view

Geminid meteor shower coming into view

The Geminids peak this Friday, December 13, marking the final meteor shower of the decade.

The upcoming full moon collides with the Geminid Meteor Shower, a highly awaited celestial event of the year. "There's no way the asteroid is anywhere near active enough when it is near the sun to produce the mass of dust we are seeing, so we are confident that WISPR is seeing part of the Geminid meteor stream". "These meteors are also seen in the southern hemisphere, but only during the middle of the night and at a reduced rate".

The Geminids are royalty when it comes to meteor showers. However, the constellation is not the source of the meteors, and not the only point viewers can look to when searching for them. Geminid meteors tend to be few and far between at early evening, but intensify in number as evening deepens into late night. The Geminid shower peaks on the early morning of December 14, so that is the best night to go out to observe them.

A almost full moon is expected to wash out all but the brightest, but NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the show is still worth a trip outside to watch. The moonlight will overpower some of the fainter meteor trails, but stronger ones should still be visible. This composite image shows a radar view captured by the Arecibo Observatory in 2017. Most meteors burn up at altitudes of around 100 Km.

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For best viewing, allow your eyes about thirty minutes to adjust to the darkness after going outside.

A meteor shower occurs when a space object enters the Earth's atmosphere at high velocity, becoming disintegrated into small fragments that are generally no bigger than a single grain of sand.

Lie back in a lounge chair, away from heavy light pollution, and watch the sky for at least an hour - according to AMS, meteor activity waxes and wanes throughout the night.

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