The famous winter Geminid meteor shower will take place in mid-December, marking the biggest meteor shower of the year. According to NASA, the Geminids will peak on the night of December 13 and early in the morning of December 14.
Basic information about the Geminid meteor shower
Origin: 3200 Phaethon (meteor)
Activities: from December 4 to December 17 each year
Maximum frequency: 120 striae/hour
Hot Spot: Gemini (Gemini)
Meteor speed: 35 km/s
A Geminid “fireball” appearing over Murmansk, Russia. Author: Yang Sutie
The Geminids (Gemini) meteor shower is considered one of the most “splendid” meteor showers of the year with bright, fast-moving and massive meteor streaks. This year, it is estimated that the frequency can reach more than 100 meteors per hour. However, if you are in a place with light pollution, this frequency will decrease significantly.
According to NASA, the best time to view the Geminid meteor shower is around 2 a.m. local time. The high moon will set after midnight, so this meteor shower will not be affected by moonlight.
The Geminid meteor shower appears in the sky over Heilongjiang Province, China. Author: Jeff Dai
THE ORIGIN OF MEET RATING
The Geminid meteor shower originates from the debris of asteroid 3200 Phaethon. This asteroid has an orbital period around the Sun of 1.4 years. Sometimes it will approach the Earth (at a safe distance) and sometimes very close to the Sun, somewhere inside the orbit of Mercury, only 0.15 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun, this which is equivalent to approximately 22.5 million km.
Simulation of the orbit of asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Source: Phys.org
Debris that wanders through space and prepares to enter the Earth’s atmosphere is called meteorite (meteoroids). Upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up and are called meteor (meteor), and if they reach the ground, they are called meteorite (meteorite).
The Geminid meteor shower has been known for over 100 years. According to data, the first recorded sighting was in 1883, in the Mississippi River region of the United States. Since then, the Geminid meteor shower has been more active and has become the best meteor shower of the year. Indeed, over the past few decades, Jupiter’s gravity has pulled debris from asteroid 3200 Phaethon – the source of the meteor shower – closer to Earth.
GUIDELINES FOR COMMENTS
The meteor shower typically peaks around 2 a.m. local time at each location, but you can also see it earlier, as early as 9 or 10 p.m. the day before.
Like the name Geminids, meteors often appear from the constellation Gemini (Gemini). This constellation will rise in the east from dusk, peak at 2 a.m., and then drop in the west.
The constellation Gemini and the location of the Geminid meteor shower in the sky. However, you don’t need to find a constellation. Source: Phys.org
Although meteors tend to appear from the constellation Gemini, they can also appear from anywhere in the sky. For best results, you should look around Gemini to see meteors with longer “tails” as they pass. If you look directly at the constellation Gemini, you will not see the complete process from the appearance until the end of the meteor.
Observe the Geminid meteor shower without telescopes or binoculars, entirely with the naked eye. Find an open space away from electric lights, ideally in a completely dark area. Remember to bring blankets and warm clothes as it gets cold at night. And don’t forget to let your eyes adjust to the dark for about 20-30 minutes, then watch!
Reference NASA, Space and Earthsky