The 2020 Geminids meteor shower – the most notable meteor shower of the year – will peak early in the morning of December 14 (Sunday evening and Monday morning). However, you can also witness amazing shows in the sky in the preceding days, early in the morning of December 12 or 13 or at any time of the week, with the number of meteors gradually increasing until their peak.
Photo source: Time.com
The Geminids meteor shower comes from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Every December, our planet Earth partially crosses the orbit of an object called 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid sometimes called a “rocky comet.” The debris from the collision of this asteroid with another object during a flight through the Earth’s upper atmosphere at a speed of 130,000 km/h will leave behind bright Geminid meteors.
With a cycle of 1.43 years, this small asteroid with a size of only about 5 km will fly extremely close to the Sun (about 1/3 of the distance of Mercury from the Sun), and then thermal cracks will form. caused more debris to fall into its orbit.
The best viewing time is approx. 2 a.m, when the constellation Gemini is at its highest level. At its peak, with optimal viewing conditions, you could see up to 150 contrails per hour, and with the moonless conditions coupled with this year’s rains, this is entirely possible. Additionally, in addition to the meteor shower, you can also watch the crescent moon and Venus appear at the same time in the eastern sky before dawn on the 13th.
DIRECTION OF VISION
Although meteors appear from the constellation Gemini, they can appear from anywhere in the sky. For best results, you should look further away from this constellation so you can catch any shooting stars with long “tails” that pass by. If you look only at the constellation Gemini, you will only see short streaks of meteors. Never mind.
The live feed of the Geminids meteor shower roughly coincides with the constellation’s bright star Castor. However, this is due to a chance alignment (between Castor, the source point and Earth), as Castor is 52 light years from Earth while the meteors shine in the upper atmosphere, about 100 km above from the face of the planet.
The truth is that if you just look towards the constellation Gemini, you won’t be able to see the long “tails” of meteorites that cross the sky and their burning process until they disappear. Move your eyes away, covering the entire sky so you don’t miss any meteor trails or bright fireballs!
The meteors come from the star Castor, in the constellation Gemini
Geminid meteors tend to emanate from the constellation Gemini. Photo source: Earthsky
6 tips for successfully observing meteor showers:
To observe the meteor shower, we Use absolutely only with the naked eye, these devices will only make your vision more limited. This year, the Geminid meteor shower is not affected by moonlight, so it’s an opportunity for astronomy enthusiasts to treat themselves to a full session of “meteor hunting.”
Are you ready to enjoy this brilliant winter “light show”?
HAS translation team