One of the most awaited celestial events of the year, the Geminid meteor shower, will bring visibly luminous shooting stars across the sky on December 13 and 14. It has also put out a blog post on how to watch the Geminid meteor shower this year.
It is going to be an exciting night for stargazers around the globe as the year's most extraordinary cosmic display is set to illuminate the sky brightly on December 14 (Friday). There will be fewer of them earlier in the evening, but the shower should hit a maximum of about 100 per hour around 2 a.m., NASA said.
One of the best meteor showers of the year, the Geminids occur when Earth passes through the debris path of asteroid 3200 Phaethon. However, the day's earlier storms are expected to carry into early Saturday, once again obstructing any views of the Geminids for much of Florida.
When the debris from 3200 Phaethon crashes into our atmosphere at around 80,000 miles per hour, it vaporises into colourful meteors, which we can then see in the night sky.
FORECAST: It looks like the skies will be clear over Colorado - but check here as we get closer. "And Gemini's high enough in the eastern sky by 10 p.m.to see a good show before bedtime".
The year's most spectacular meteor shower is back. "These meteors are also seen in the southern hemisphere, but only during the middle of the night and at a reduced rate".
Dust. All that happens is that Earth is moving through a stream of dust and particles left over from the passing of a comet through the solar system.
Geminid meteor shower image taken in 2011. "Little bits of rock will burn up as they zip through Earth's upper atmosphere", said Filippenko, and thereby create the poorly named phenomenon known as a "shooting star" or "falling star", which "are not stars at all, of course!"
Over time it has become more intense, with up to 20 comets per hour reported in the 1920s, rising to 50 in the 1930s, 60 in the 1940s and 80 in the 1970s. The Google Doodle will track the Geminids as they pass through the sky.
Best of all, you don't have to hurry to the Science Centre or find someone to loan you a telescope - the meteor shower is visible to the naked eye, but only if the weather cooperates.
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