On 13 and 14 December, one of the most highly anticipated celestial events of the year will take place. Tonight and tomorrow night, it will be possible to observe the Geminid meteor shower comprised of perfectly visible luminous falling stars, according to NASA.
The Geminids meteor shower was first discovered at the beginning of the 19th century and occurs every year in December. This event is expected by a lot of stargazers because it is the ideal time to watch the sky begin to glow with bright, rapidly falling stars.
According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cook, the Geminids meteor shower is expected to begin at 9 p.m. (EST) on 13 December and will reach its peak in around 2 a.m. on 14 December. Despite the late hours, viewers are likely to be delighted with the number of bright meteors. At the peak of activity, about 100 bright meteors per hour are expected to be observed.
This year, the Geminids meteor shower will be so bright that no telescopes are necessary to view it. To get a better view of the meteor shower, it is recommended that you go to a dark place, with as little light pollution as possible, about 20-30 minutes before the event, so that your eyes can adjust to the darkness.
Residents of the Northern Hemisphere will have a first-class view of the meteor shower. They just need to find the Orion constellation, and then look in its upper left corner, where the Gemini constellation is located. Residents of the Southern Hemisphere will need to look at the lower right corner of the Orion constellation to see the meteor shower. For those who live in a city, it is better to leave its boundaries to look at the sky without smog and light.
The Geminids meteor shower occurs because in December, the Earth passes through a swarm of small particles thrown into space by an object that was first discovered by space telescope in 1983 and was subsequently named 3200 Phaeton.
Photo credit: Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN)