Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak Thursday night

The Geminid Meteor Shower, while one of the brightest, is often overlooked because it always occurs when it's cold outside. Though the Geminids favor the Northern Hemisphere, the meteors will be visible from the Southern Hemisphere as well. But Bill Cooke, a meteor expert at NASA, told Space.com that the best time to catch the show will be 2 a.m.

This year's cosmic display will peak on the night of December 13 and into the early hours of December 14.

The asteroid particles exude yellowish streaks of light and this phenomenon shall be visible even to the naked eye. You can book tickets for the session here.

The Geminids are the only meteor shower to be produced by an asteroid. They say the lights should be bright enough to be classified as fireballs. "Then the Earth passes through the tail and those little things hit the atmosphere and that's what makes the meteors".

To check out the show, Bill Cooke from NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office advises urges waiting until the moon goes down at around 10:30 p.m. local time before heading outside without your cell phone, because its screen can mess up your night vision. Stargazers are encouraged to head over to the darkest spots outside and look up for a show of lights streaming across the sky.

The best view of the comet and the meteor shower is likely the central part of the United States. The annual Geminid meteor shower is expected to peak this week!


The Geminid meteors come from an asteroid with the name 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid that orbits the sun every 1.4 years. Phaethon is a odd blue asteroid that scientists named after its namesake- the Greek God Apollo's son.

The darker the sky, the longer you'll be able to set your exposure so as to avoid washing it all out.

"If you can see the familiar winter constellations Orion and Gemini in the sky, you'll see some Geminids", NASA explained in a skywatching video.

The orbit of Phaethon brings it closer to the Sun (within 6.4 million miles) between December 4-16 every year. "If you're lucky, you'll see perhaps 60 meteors in an hour, which is one meteor per minute", but "30 to 40 per hour is much more realistic", he said.

Sharing intriguing pictures of the meteor shower, Twitterati is in a flutter!

The best way to see the meteor shower is to get away from city lights and allow time for your eyes to completely adjust to the darkness.


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