One of the most awaited celestial events of the year, the Geminid meteor shower, will bring visibly luminous shooting stars across the sky on Dec. 13 and 14.
The Geminid meteor shower is annually anticipated by enthusiasts precisely because it is the perfect time to watch the sky glow up with bright, albeit fast, shooting stars. As for the previous years, this event had not failed to amaze spectators who end up seeing aggressive meteors, especially on a dark sky.
Date And Time Of The Geminid Meteor Shower
NASA expert Bill Cooke said that the Geminid meteor shower is expected from 9 p.m of Dec. 13, but it will peak in the wee hours of morning at around 2 a.m on Dec. 14, the time the radiant point is also at its highest. The moon will set around midnight, which means it wouldn't meddle with the view.
Despite the time, onlookers will probably take delight in the number of bright meteors that will appear in those hours, which Cooke said "will be more than 1 per minute, reaching 100 meteors per hour." For those living in the city, it's best to head to a less-polluted sky to witness the breathtaking phenomenon.
How To View The Geminid Meteor Shower
Earth's Northern Hemisphere will get a first-class view. Residents from this area just need to find the Orion constellation and then look at its upper left where the Gemini is. The meteor shower will also be visible in the Southern Hemisphere. Just look at the lower right of Orion.
However, avoid focusing too much on Gemini, as it will leave an impression that meteors don't move too far. Stare a little bit away from the constellation to see the "tails" of longer meteors.
The Geminid meteors are going to be so bright that one doesn't need special technology nor any instrument to see them. Experts advise the audience to head on to an area that's dark, possibly with less light pollution, about 20 to 30 minutes before the shower so the eyes can still adjust to the darkness.
The Geminid meteor shower has been happening for about two centuries now, with the first sighting in 1833 as observed in a boat in Mississippi River. Since then, experts noted how the event showcases brighter shooting stars — basically because Jupiter's gravity pulled on the particles from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon closer to Earth as time went by.