Saturday, 25 May, 2019


Tonight's Geminids Meteor Shower Will Totally Rock

Tonight's Geminids Meteor Shower Will Totally Rock Tonight's Geminids Meteor Shower Will Totally Rock
Kristine Garrett | 15 December, 2018, 19:11

"Geminids are one of the most brilliant and strong meteor showers we can observe from Earth", says Dr Peter Jenniskens, the author of meteor science treatise "Meteor Showers and Parent Bodies" and top meteor scientist based at SETI, USA. If you can stand the cold and the sky is clear, shooting stars from the Geminids meteor shower should be observable through until a few hours before dawn.

On the first slide, the doodle shows an illustration of our solar system, with the Sun becoming the second O in the logo. Unlike other meteor showers, it's unclear where the debris is actually trailing from.

The 3200 Phaethon orbits the Earth every 1.4 years and comes ever-so-close to earth, at about 150 million kilometres, and that's what makes this light show one of the most spectacular.

Geminids appear nearly anywhere in the night sky and appear with a yellowish colour in the sky.

The Geminid meteors are so called because they seem to originate from the constellation of Gemini. On a dark night, you can catch about 60-100 meteors per hour, if you are lucky! Allow 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust and try to avoid looking at a phone. NASA recommends that watchers go outside at 10:30 p.m.

The shower was visible in both the Northern and Southern atmospheres after midnight Thursday, though pollution, weather and the Moon may have prevented some stargazers from catching the show.

If you can't stay up until 2 a.m., Sky & Telescope reports the Earth will pass through the thickest part of 3200 Phaethon's debris, with the most potential for meteors, around 7:30 a.m. eastern time on Friday.

The meteor shower is expected to be so (ahem) out of this world that Google celebrated it with an interactive Doodle, created to give a little starry fun to those of who don't want to lie around outside in the pre-dawn hours.

If a meteor hits earth's surface, which means a space rock lands on the earth, it is called a meteorite. The stream will show last year's meteor shower until Thursday night.

You won't need telescopes or binoculars to see the meteors, but the show will look most dramatic if you're in a dark area.

Geminid meteors are bright and fast (79,000 mph), and the shower is famous for producing fireballs, which are meteors brighter than magnitude -4, the same magnitude as the planet Venus. That's because the shooting stars do not come at regular intervals. It all depends where you watch it from, but it promises to be a decent show in 2019 thanks to a lack of moonlight.

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