Now that this year's super moon is behind us, we eagerly await one of this year's most spectacular meteor showers, the Geminid meteor shower, which will peak during the night of December 13. and the dawn of December 14. If you are a fan of astronomy, you may be interested in what to expect during the night shower and how to get the perfect view.
What does the next meteor shower do? It is exciting that each meteor is very bright, and has high peak rates per hour of around 120 meteors per hour, the peak is usually around 2 a.m. at 3 a.m. Unfortunately, under skies contaminated by light, you will not be able to catch a glimpse of so many, as they will not be so clearly visible. The Geminid meteor shower is almost 200 years old, records say. People saw it in 1833 for the first time on the Mississippi River, and it has become even brighter over the years.
The Geminids emanate from the constellation of Gemini, and although the meteors will seem to come from Gemini, they can still appear throughout the sky. Most of us know the Orion constellation, so if you look at Orion and then look from there, that's the general area of Gemini. But space.com suggests that to get the best view, it is advisable to look a little farther from Gemini so you can see the meteors with longer "tails" better. If you look directly at Gemini, you will only see meteors that do not travel that far.
The Geminids are connected to an asteroid called 3200 Phaeton that is expected to pass relatively close to Earth. It was believed that the asteroid had arisen from a collision with another object in the past that could have caused the creation of particles that are shown as a meteor shower on Earth.
The 3200 Phaeton orbits around our sun every 1.4 years and sometimes approaches our planet, although at a safe distance. In addition, it approaches the sun near Mercury's orbit.
The rocks that are in space and that are about to collide with Earth's atmosphere are called meteoroids. Those that fly through our atmosphere are called meteors, but if they reach the ground they are called meteorites. However, that will not be the case with the Geminid meteor shower, since the particles are too small.
You can observe the meteor shower with the naked eye, but binoculars and telescopes could be useful. Make sure you find a good place away from the city lights to enjoy the shower!