Geminid meteor shower: How and when to watch

Geminid meteor shower: How and when to watch

On a dark night, you can catch about 60-100 meteors per hour, if you are lucky!

The weather Thursday night in Longmont is predicted to be almost flawless for viewing the Geminid meteor shower, which peaks tonight but will be visible Friday night and into the weekend.

The Geminid Event happens every year in the December month when Earth passes through a massive trail of debris.

The tiny particles, some no bigger than a grain of sand, burn up brightly as they enter the atmosphere. The Google Doodle will track the Geminids as they pass through the sky. The result is a brilliant display of shooting stars that light up the sky, which is set to peak between late Thursday and the pre-crack-of-dawn hours on Friday morning.

The timing is opportune, astronomers point out, as some meteor showers arrive when there is just too much light to observe anything.

To make sure you don't miss the interstellar action, Time and Date has an interactive video that shows where and when you can see the shower from where you live. "It originates from a rocky asteroid named 3200 Phaethon", clarifies Prof Mark Bailey MBE, an accomplished comet expert and past Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society, London.

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The Northern hemisphere is more favourable to watch this meteor shower and hence India is suited in terms of geography to observe this cosmic event.

You will also be able to see some of the shower tomorrow weather permitting but they have recommend that tonight will be your best bet to see some shooting stars. Nicknamed the 900-pound gorilla of meteor showers by NASA, they outweigh other dust streams by factors of between 5 to 500!

For those in areas with low light pollution, no smog and clear skies, the Geminids are visible to the naked eye, with no specialist equipment needed. For best view time, you should go out after the Midnight on 13th and 14th of this month. If you're in a city, bright lights could block your view.

Find yourself a dark corner of the Bay Area and look south tonight, for the Geminids are upon us.

The Geminid meteor shower itself was first noted in the 1860s. The really cool aspect of this meteor shower is that at least 120 meteors are produced in an hour.

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