Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Why the Geminids Are the Best Meteor Shower of 2017

Why the Geminids Are the Best Meteor Shower of 2017 Why the Geminids Are the Best Meteor Shower of 2017
Grady Vargas | 12 December, 2017, 18:49

Another reason why this shower is the best, at the very least for this year: 3200 Phaeton, the rocky object sometimes called an asteroid from which the Geminid meteors originate, will be even closer to Earth during the shower this year.

He said, "and those that streak through the atmosphere are called meteors". What really makes this meteor shower so attractive to witness is its comet-like orbit along with the presence of shooting stars.

The meteor shower will be visible from all over the country, but observation points not affected by lighting from buildings are recommended for the best possible viewing conditions. Meteor showers are titled after the position of the radiant, usually a star or constellation close to where they emerge in the night sky. It will peak around 2am, when the sky is darkest. This year, a crescent moon will leave a relatively dark sky for the shower to populate with light. "The shower will start at around 10 pm on December 13 when the Gemini constellation will be visible in the north-eastern sky, a little above and right of the familiar Orion constellation", Duari said.

Like the supermoon, you can watch the meteor shower sans special glasses or a telescope.

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This year could see up to 120 shooting stars per hour - and viewers are advised to go to an open place away from street lights at 6.30am to see it at its best. That means they won't leave you saying, "Did I just see a meteor?"

Normally, the Perseids meteor shower that takes place over the summer is the best one of the year, but there was bright moonlight that made them hard to see this year, making the Geminids the best shower, according to NASA.

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.

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