The annual Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak in the late hours of Sunday night.
Sky-watchers must have been ecstatic as they have witnessed a series of unusual celestial events throughout the week.
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This Sunday, the annual Geminids meteor shower is heading your way. Arguably the biggest meteor shower of the year will reach its peak in the late hours of Sunday night and will drop more than dozen meteors per hour.
Every year around mid-December, Geminids shooting stars pour down through the sky. The meteor shower is caused by the burning of debris left by asteroid-like object 3200 Phaethon and it creates a spectacular display of firework.
Experts claim that this year’s Geminids’ meteor shower will be one of the best astronomical events in recent times since the moon will not be hanging around during peak times and it will create ideal conditions to view even the faintest of the shooting stars.
The best place to view the event will definitely be the countryside or the areas away from the city lights, where up 100 shooting stars are expected to be seen per hour. Geminids meteor shower should be visible in Europe, Eastern North America and across the Northern Hemisphere, starting on the night of December 13 and continuing until the early morning of December 14.
The Geminids meteor shower has been observed since the 1800s, but its origin remained a mystery for years. 3200 Phaethon, which causes the Geminids meteor shower, is long thought to be a large asteroid until recently when it was reclassified as an ‘extinct comet’ or ‘rock comet.’
“It’s sort of like an asteroid, but asteroids typically don’t leave behind debris that produce meteor shower,” said experienced observer, Gary Seronik. “And it’s sort of like a comet because its orbit is quite elliptical like a comet is and brings it closer to the sun.”
“It’s a bit of a mystery object.”
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Nevertheless, the fireballs are going to be beautiful and big enough to be watched with naked eye.