If you are looking for a spectacular celestial show, you won’t want to miss the Geminid meteor shower, which is expected to peak on the night of December 14 and the early morning of December 15. The Geminids are one of the best and most reliable meteor showers of the year, with up to 150 meteors per hour at the peak.
The Geminids are named after the constellation Gemini, where they appear to originate from. However, you don’t need to find a constellation to enjoy the show. Just look up at any dark sky and you might catch a glimpse of a bright and fast meteor streaking across the sky.
Geminids are also unique because they are not caused by a comet but by an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. This rocky object orbits the sun in a highly elliptical path and sheds dust and debris along the way. When the Earth passes through this stream of particles, they enter our atmosphere and burn up, creating the meteors we see.
The best time to watch the Geminids is after midnight when the radiant point is highest in the sky. However, you can start seeing some meteors as early as 9 p.m. local time, as the radiant rises in the east. The moon will be a thin crescent and will set soon after sunset, so it won’t interfere with the meteor shower.
To enjoy the Geminids, you don’t need any special equipment or skills. Just find a dark and comfortable spot away from city lights, and let your eyes adjust to the darkness for about 20 minutes. Then, relax and enjoy the show. You can also use a smartphone app or a star map to locate the constellation Gemini if you want to see where the meteors come from.
The Geminids are a wonderful opportunity to witness the beauty and wonder of nature. Don’t miss this chance to see one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year.