Published: Mon, December 17, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Look up: Geminid meteor shower peaks Thursday night

Look up: Geminid meteor shower peaks Thursday night

Despite the time, onlookers will probably take delight in the number of bright meteors that will appear in those hours, which Cooke said "will be more than 1 per minute, reaching 100 meteors per hour".

With hundreds of meteors streaking across the night sky, the Geminids are often the best meteor shower of the year.

Each year, the Earth passes through a trail of debris left by the asteroid as it orbits around the Sun. The debris swim into our planet's atmosphere and become what we call the 'shooting stars'.

The Doodle on Thursday follows the Geminids' path through Earth's atmosphere as it lights up the sky through a slideshow. The result is a brilliant display of shooting stars that light up the sky, which is set to peak between late Thursday and the pre-crack-of-dawn hours on Friday morning.

As astronomical events are always somewhat of a waiting game, the best way to catch the meteor shower is to wrap up warm and sit in a comfy chair outside. The space rocks zoomed by, hitting Earth at around 22 miles per second, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS).

The Geminid Meteor Shower 2018: Timings, How to Watch it? Phaethon is a unusual blue asteroid that scientists named after its namesake- the Greek God Apollo's son. The meteor shower can be witnessed with bare eyes. It is not necessary to look toward the Gemini constellation.

You won't need telescopes or binoculars to see the meteors, but the show will look most dramatic if you're in a dark area.

As you might have guessed, it's a meteor shower that occurs every December. Though the Geminids favor the Northern Hemisphere, the meteors will be visible from the Southern Hemisphere as well. Of course, optimal viewing conditions for a meteor shower include being somewhere far from light pollution and outdoors, which for some people just isn't an option.

Unlike most meteor showers, which are usually caused by the remnants of comets, this shower is caused by asteroids. "Moreover we find that even Einstein's general relativistic effects can have a role in their long term orbital evolution in the solar system", says Dr Galina Ryabova, a seasoned expert on Geminids meteor stream physics, based at Tomsk State University in Siberia, Russia. Given their medium speeds, you'll be able to view one to two meteors per minute in the night sky.

Named after the constellation Gemini, the Geminids will rise above the eastern horizon just after 9 p.m. ET, with the official peak around 7:30 a.m., meaning anyone across North America and the Pacific Basin should set their clocks to stargazing between those hours. Meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky and hence you need not worry too much about the direction, orientation or altitude.

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