How to Spot This Year's Spectacular Geminids Meteor Shower

14 December, 2018, 04:15 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • The year's most spectacular meteor shower is this weekend

That's when the meteor shower is supposed to peak. But unlike most meteor showers, which originate from icy comets, the Geminids stem from the mysterious rocky object 3200 Phaethon. The meteors will appear all over the sky.

Keep an eye peeled toward the heavens Thursday night into the early morning hours Friday as one of the more eye-catching meteor showers is scheduled to make a visit. This year, you can expect to see 100-120 meteors an hour in dark skies.

Here's one great option: the Dubai Astronomy Group will be holding a special public event on Friday evening at Al Qudra lakes from 10pm until 4am. If you're able to find an area unaffected by light pollution, meteors could be visible every couple of minutes from 10 p.m. until dawn. You can book tickets for the session here.

How can we see and what is the best time to view?

"It was astronomer Fred Whipple who realized that Phaethon is the source for the Geminid meteors". "You will soon start to see Geminid meteors", reads NASA's post.

Experts recommend dedicating at least 45 minutes to viewing the meteor shower - as eyes can require up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness.


According to Sky & Telescope, the Geminids are set to peak at 7:30 a.m. EST (1130 GMT) on December 14, when Earth plunges through the thickest part of the trail of dust and debris left behind by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon as it orbits the sun. Phaethon is responsible for bringing the spectacular Geminid meteor showers to Earth's atmosphere each December.

Where to watch Geminid Meteor Shower? The Geminids look like they're coming from the constellation Gemini, but it's actually fragments of an asteroid that intersects Earth's path.

This is true of everywhere across the globe, so head outside at 2am to catch a glimpse of the stunning meteor shower.

The Geminids result from the mysterious asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which, thanks to periodic heating from the Sun, has left a trail of material in its orbit. "You'll also be looking at the constellation of Gemini while you're looking that direction", Jones said, noting that's how the Geminid meteor shower got its name. That will be Comet 46P/Wirtanen which will be making its closest approach to Earth (7 million miles) for the next 20 years!

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