Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Posted: Dec 13 2017, 3:08am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight
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NASA reports that a Geminid Meteor Shower is due Tonight

The best and brightest Geminid meteor shower of the year will be clearly visible in the night sky. From tonight all the way till Saturday, this meteor shower will be crystal clear after 10 pm and it will last till 4 am. It will be a case of one meteor being seen every couple of minutes.

On an hourly basis, you may view about 50 such meteors. All the meteors when seen in tandem in a stack photo show regular patterns. They tend to return to the same old constellation known as Gemini.

The meteor shower earned its title from this constellation. These meteors are singular since they come from an asteroid. The asteroid is labeled as 3200 Phaethon.

This asteroid passes closer to the sun than any other asteroid of its kind. Its orbital axis takes 1.4 years to circle the sun. When it comes nearer to the sun, huge chunks of it separate from the parent body. These large chunks make the Geminid meteor shower so bright and beautiful.

Phaethon is three miles in its diameter. As the chunks of asteroid junk burn when they pass through the earth’s atmosphere, the Geminid meteor shower is the natural result of this series of actions.

Whereas this debris moves very sluggishly through space, it moves at a faster rate through the earth’s atmosphere. As the earth goes through the debris’s path, its pieces enter the atmosphere. Nightgazers will not need to know the exact location of the Gemini constellation.

This is because the meteors are clearly visible in the night sky. Gemini will be at its peak at 2 am. However, meteors can be spied throughout the course of the night. It is advised that nightgazers wear a thick coat since it will be very cold outside as they view the Geminid meteor shower.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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