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Geminid meteor shower: Where, when and how to see it

14 Décembre 2018

Named after the Gemini constellation, where the meteors are believed to be originating, the Geminid meteor shower is also called the "rock comet". Although they are visible from dusk until dawn, the meteors peak around 2AM.

Meteorological departments recommend that the best view shall be seen once the radiant gets higher in the night sky.

Here's a glimpse of what the skies have in store for you just past dusk today.


Next year 's meteor display won't be accompanied by such visible conditions as there will be a full moon out.

Cpl. Chris Cramer was out on patrol on SR 22 near 600 E. shortly before midnight when his dash camera captured a meteor cross the night sky.

For an out-of-this-world experience tonight, look to the sky to catch the Geminids meteor shower.

Geminid meteors are bright and fast (79,000 mph), and the shower is famous for producing fireballs, which are meteors brighter than magnitude -4, the same magnitude as the planet Venus.

An annual shower of meteors is expected to light up the sky on Thursday with up to 120 shooting stars every hour. "And we'll take a look at some tools that will let you see what's going on in between the stars in the night sky". As the particles burn up they appear as shooting stars, creating bright streaks in the sky.

Wichita is in a pretty good spot to view the meteor shower, provided some forecasted light cloud coverage Thursday evening subsides.

The Geminid meteors come from an asteroid with the name 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid that orbits the sun every 1.4 years. Despite the hype about meteor showers, there are, in truth, very few that live up to their billing.

However the Geminids meteors are the broken debris from the space object the 3200 Phaethon.

But if you won't be up in those early hours, you can also start watching a couple hours after sunset; the moon will set at about 10:30 p.m. local time on December 13, and about 11 p.m. local time on December 14, so just look after that on either of those nights. "It was astronomer Fred Whipple who realized that Phaethon is the source for the Geminid meteors". Popping in and out of the house to warm up, means you could miss out, but also that your eyes will need to start again with the light adjusting.

Geminid meteor shower: Where, when and how to see it