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How To Watch Next Week's Geminid Meteor Shower

author

Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer

clockDec 8 2016, 19:36 UTC

There will be up to 120 meteors per hour. sripfoto/Shutterstock

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, get ready for a bit of a treat next week because the Geminid meteor shower is going to be peaking, with up to 120 meteors per hour.

The shower is set to peak on December 13 and 14, and will originate from the Gemini constellation. Although best viewing will be in the Nothern Hemisphere, you’ll also be able to see them in the Southern Hemisphere too.

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The only issue is that there’s going to be a full Moon early on December 14, which might obscure things a bit with its brightness. You should, though, still be able to spot a few meteors. The highest number of meteors usually appears after midnight, although the Moon complicates things a bit.

For the best view, make sure you’re in a dark location, ideally away from city lights and street lamps. You’ll want to give your eyes a good 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so make sure you wrap up warm. EarthSky recommends you watch for an hour to see as many as possible, so don’t forget a blanket.

The Geminids originate from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, with Earth passing through a stream of material from the object, believed to have originated from a collision. They occur every year at this time as we cross its path.

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So, the Moon might wash things out a bit, but if you’re patient, you should still be able to catch some meteors in the night sky.


spaceSpace and PhysicsspaceAstronomy
  • tag
  • earth,

  • night sky,

  • Meteor shower,

  • Astronomy,

  • Geminid