If you missed the meteor shower last month (the Leonids ), now you have the opportunity to catch them falling stars. Arriving at its peak next week, the Geminid meteor shower is set to illuminate the night sky.
What can you expect to see?
Presenting the heels of the first and only full moon this year the Geminids will probably deliver 50 to 120 meteors per hour at their peak (December 13-14). Considered one of the most brilliant and prolific celestial events of the year, these meteors increase in quantity at the end of the night. Fortunately for Canadians, the Geminids favor the northern hemisphere.
Where should you look?
The paths of the Geminid meteors originally date back to the constellation of Gemini, which is located in the northeast sky, to the right of the Orion constellation. But you do not need to look for the twin constellation to see the shower. These dazzling meteors can be found anywhere in the sky.
"These medium-velocity meteors spend the night in many different directions and in front of numerous millennial constellations," says Earthsky.org . "It is even possible to see a Geminic meteor when looking directly from the radiant point of the shower, however, if you trace the path of any Geminic meteor backwards, it will take you back to the Twin Gemini constellation."
When should you be attentive?
Although technically rain occurs in the first two weeks of December, the Geminids will only appear at their maximum intensity from the night of December 13 until the morning of December 14. In ideal climatic conditions, its weathering can begin. Look for it late in the afternoon. However, you will catch as many fireballs after midnight.
What causes the Geminid meteor shower?
Most meteors are related to comets, but Geminids are a different story. This annual rain occurs every December when the Earth passes through a debris trail of an asteroid called 3200 Phaeton. When the asteroid fragments travel through the upper atmosphere of our planet, they burn and transform into bold and bright white meteors.
Look at Geminid Meteor Rain LIVE
Like all meteor showers, Geminids are visible to the naked eye. Then, telescopes are not necessary. But if the weather conditions are less stellar in your area, do not despair. You can watch this brilliant show through livestream on slooh.com .
Who will have the best view in Canada?
From now on, star observers in Manitoba and Ontario will have the best conditions to see the next rain.