What is the Geminid Meteor Shower?

What is the Geminid Meteor Shower?

What is the Geminid Meteor Shower?

According to NASA, the first Geminid meteor shower was spotted in 1862, surprising astronomers.

That won't be a factor this year, Google said. Observers under a clear dark sky can expect to see an average of two per minute. "It will be a waxing crescent off to the southwest and set around 10:30 p.m".

"We do have a big plus this year", Maitra said of the moon setting well before midnight.

MORE DETAILS: This has the potential to be the best meteor shower of the year!

"It is also advisable to watch for as long as possible as meteor activity waxes and wanes throughout the night", the society reported.

For those who miss tonight's meteor shower, Filippenko said the Geminids will continue Friday evening "but there won't be as many meteors". "But the Geminids have been fairly reliable over the years".

You should be able to spot the shooting stars without a telescope. "The easiest way to do this is to lie flat on your back, in lounge/lawn chair for example".

"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. If you're planning to go outside and watch, factor in a window of about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

The best part of the sky to observe the Geminid Meteor showers in the Northern Hemisphere which is also an advantage for Indians to get a good view of the celestial spectacle.

(Photo - Graeme Whipps/REX/Shutterstock)Why is it called the Geminids?

The meteors are estimated to fall at over 79,000 mph or 21 3/4 miles per second.

Over time it has become more intense, with up to 20 comets per hour reported in the 1920s, rising to 50 in the 1930s, 60 in the 1940s and 80 in the 1970s. "Photographers or astronomy enthusiasts can travel to Alwar in Rajasthan, the north Himalayan regions, or rural areas like Bandardara in Maharashtra to watch the Geminid shower", he added. Initially thought to be emerging from the constellation Gemini (from where it gets the name Geminid), scientists later discovered that the Geminids are fragments of 3200 Phaethon. The shower is associated with 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid that is believed to have collided with another object many years ago.

The best way to view the Geminid meteor shower in India is to move away from polluted areas in the cities to lesser polluted areas, and, ideally, with a clear dark sky at night.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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