With the yearly Geminids meteor shower reaching its peak this week, sky watchers should be treated to a celestial display of up to 120 shooting stars each hour, weather permitting.
What is Geminids Meteor Shower?
The Geminids meteor shower, which began in late November, reaches its peak on Wednesday night and into early Thursday. NASA has hailed this meteor shower as one of the most spectacular and consistent of the year. It gives people the opportunity to see a meteor flying across the night sky once per minute, under ideal circumstances of clear skies and low light pollution.
NASA reports that this year’s Geminids shower will be especially magical, with little moonlight to distort the vividness of this celestial event.
Known for their brightness and quick speed, Geminid meteors are usually yellow-white in color, while they can also occasionally display green, red or even blue hues.
The head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, Bill Cooke, highlighted the distinctive charm of the Geminids in a recent blog post, emphasizing their frequently greenish hue and unique appearance. The majority of meteors appear white or colorless. On the other hand, the Geminids have a greenish appearance. They resemble meteors.
The best time to see the Geminids are at night and in the early morning. They may be seen all over the world. These shooting stars, which are emitted by the Gemini constellation that is rising in the northern sky, offers a breathtaking visual treat for enthusiasts worldwide, the Geminids meteor shower presents a stunning show that captivates observers across the globe.
In order to maximize the visibility of the meteor shower’s brightness, NASA advises lying down or reclining with your back to the southern sky and away from metropolitan light pollution for the best viewing experience. Moreover, letting eyes acclimate to the darkness for around half an hour improves the viewing experience. The best show happens later, between midnight and two in the morning, when watchers in the Northern Hemisphere may need to prepare for wintry weather. Meteors can be seen starting at 9 or 10 p.m. local time.
As Earth passes through significant asteroid or comet debris fields, meteor showers happen. These particles break up as they come into contact with Earth’s atmosphere, shooting bright streaks of light across the sky.
The Geminids can be traced back to leftover material from asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which completes a 524-day cycle around the sun. This asteroid, which is about 3.2 miles across and was discovered in 1983, is still the source of the captivating Geminid meteor shower.
NASA reports that although the Geminids peak this week, the meteor shower will continue to be active through December 24.
Waiting for this breathtaking celestial event, people all over the world are getting ready to see nature’s magnificent performance as the Geminids meteor shower lights up the night sky, dazzling viewers with a breathtaking exhibition of cosmic art.