Daily Trends Now
Daily Trends Now


Chance to See Hundreds of Shooting Stars During Geminid Meteor Shower

Chance to See Hundreds of Shooting Stars During Geminid Meteor Shower

Most meteor showers come from comets, roiling cauldrons of gas, dust, ice and rock that have glowing heads and tails. According to NASA, Geminids appear as the Earth crosses the path of an inactive chunk of rock in space that doesn't shed debris. And this year, they're predicted to yield about 120 meteors per hour.

Smaller numbers of meteors will be visible one or two days either side of the shower peak.

But the Geminids which peak Wednesday, Dec. 13 could be fantastic this year. However, since the constellation Gemini does not rise too far above the horizon in this region, the showers will be less impressive than the ones seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

Around midnight, Space.com claims you may be able to see as many as 120 meteors overhead each hour, but there will be plenty of opportunities before the witching hour by looking towards the eastern sky.

"It's best to be in a place where there's no city lights", they said. "So it's really nice meteors to see".

"So don't be put off by the fact that you're waiting for five or so minutes and you still haven't seen a meteor". The next time 3200 Phaethon approaches Earth at such a close distance will be 2093.




Peak time: around 2 a.m. Thursday morning.

This year is especially good because the moon will be a thin crescent, so moonlight should not interfere.

Every year in mid-December, the earth passes by debris left over from asteroid Phaethon which orbits the sun every 1.4 years. As the comet gets close to the sun, the ice melts a bit and releases tiny rocks.

The asteroid will appear in a slightly different part of the sky to the point from which the meteors radiate.

It's often considered the best of the year because the meteors are bright. Wednesday night the sky will be darker, making it easier to see the shooting stars.

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