New Delhi (Anish Yande): December is a great month for astronomical events, with several upcoming events for stargazers. The orbits of Jupiter and Saturn are aligning in a rare astronomical event that would be observed for the first time since 1226. In the meanwhile, the Geminids shower is an exciting event for stargazers.
The Geminids shower would be visible from December 4 to December 17. The Geminids shower would be visible most clearly on the peak of December 13 and 14.
How to Watch the Geminids shower:
The peak of the shower would be from December 13 to December 14. The viewing conditions would be better as the skies would be darker than usual due to the nearly new moon. There would be almost no moonlight blocking the meteors. The night and hours before dawn would be the best times to view the meteors.
These meteors would be radiating from the proximity of the constellation Gemini.
The meteors could appear in any part of the sky. Experts recommended that the shower be seen from a safe location away from city lights.
What is the Gemenids shower?
The Geminids meteor shower occurs each December. The Earth travels through a trail of debris. The debris trail originates from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.
The asteroid 3200 Phaethon, was discovered on October 11, 1983. The meteor shower began appearing in the mid-1800s. Scientists believe that the asteroid 3200 Phaethon could be a 'dead or a rock comet'. Scientists are not able to classify it currently, citing the unusual nature of the meteors and orbit similar to comets.
More than 120 meteors could be spotted at the peak of the meteor shower.
The meteor shower travels at speeds of 90,000 miles per hour, entering the Earth's atmosphere at 80,000 miles per hour. The Gemenids appear bright yellow in the night sky, traveling at fast speeds.
Image Credit: Google