Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Geminid Meteor Shower 2018: When and How to Watch

Geminid Meteor Shower 2018: When and How to Watch

In the hours before sunrise Friday, the most meteors will be visible in the North American sky, peaking about 7:30 a.m. ET, predicts Sky & Telescope. The Geminid meteor shower was first discovered through satellite 35 years ago.

But this year brings a skywatching bonus: the Geminids peak comes Thursday and Friday night, just as the brightest comet of the year, 46P/Wirtanen, is set to come historically close just a few nights later on December 16.

Here's one great option: the Dubai Astronomy Group will be holding a special public event on Friday evening at Al Qudra lakes from 10pm until 4am. It also says that people in suburbs or the countryside are likely to spot more meteors than stargazers in cities because of light pollution. You can book tickets for the session here. "Dark clear skies are the most important ingredient in observing meteor showers", according to NASA.

The Geminid meteors are so called because they seem to originate from the constellation of Gemini.

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The Doodle on Thursday follows the Geminids' path through Earth's atmosphere as it lights up the sky through a slideshow. (Astromony magazine thinks this will be local time in most time zones) The meteor shower is going to peak at 2 a.m.

The meteor shower is a outcome of dust and grit burning when it enters the Earth's atmosphere.

You will be able to witness over 100 shooting stars in just an hour, but only till the sky remains dark.

Using Orion's belt as a reference point, Mrs O'Connor said to look to the left for a red star, from which the Gemini constellation is located directly below.

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The space rock is named after Phaethon, the son of the Greek sun god Helios.

"The best way to see the most meteors is simply to see as much of the sky as possible", Samuhel said.

The Geminid meteor shower occur when Earth passes through a stream of dusty debris from 3200 Phaethon. According to NASA, the object could be either an extinct comet or a near-Earth asteroid. 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.

Phaethon orbits the sun closer than any other asteroid and takes 1.4 years to orbit it.

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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.

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