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Geminid Meteor Shower: Best Time to See and How to Watch

Throughout the year, as long as the Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through streams of cosmic debris. The resulting meteor showers can light up the night sky from dusk until dawn, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch a peek.

The next shower you may be able to see is known as Geminids. Active from December 4 to December 20, it is expected to peak from Sunday night to Monday morning, or December 13-14.

The Geminids, along with the Quadrantids that peaked in January, are thought to originate not from comets, but from space rocks similar to asteroids. The Geminids are thought to have been produced by an object called 3200 Phaethon (an asteroid that possesses a Japanese space mission, Destiny +, Is the visit later this decade). If you could see them, this meteor shower could light the night sky with anywhere from 120 to 160 meteors per hour.

While many of the rains are most visible after midnight and before dawn, Geminids may be visible as early as 10 PM in some locations. According to Meteor International, although Best watch It may start around 11 AM and continue until 4 AM

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If you notice a meteor shower, what you usually see is the remnants of an icy comet colliding with Earth’s atmosphere. Comets somewhat resemble dirty snowballs: As they travel through the solar system, they leave behind a dusty trail of rock and ice that remains in space long after it leaves. When Earth passes through these cascades of comet litter, bits of debris – which can be as small as grains of sand – penetrate the sky at burst speeds, creating a display of heavenly fireworks.

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A rule of thumb with meteor showers: You never see the Earth crossing into the orbit remnants of another comet. Instead, the burnt-out sections come from the earlier lanes. For example, during the Perseid meteor shower, you see meteors emitting from its parent comet, Comet Swift-Tuttle, in 1862 or earlier, not from its last pass in 1992.

This is because debris from a comet’s orbit takes time to drift to a position where it intersects with Earth’s orbit, according to Bill Cook, An astronomer with NASA’s Bureau of Meteor Ecology.

The best way to see meteor showers is to get to a location that has a clear view of the entire night sky. Ideally, this would be somewhere with a dark sky, away from city lights and traffic. To maximize your chances of viewing the show, find a place that offers a wide, unobstructed view.

Fragments and bits of meteor showers can be seen for a certain period of time, but in fact they clearly peak from dusk to dawn on certain few days. Those days are when Earth’s orbit crosses the thickest part of the cosmic current. Meteor showers can vary at peak times, with some reaching their maximum for only a few hours and others for several nights.

It’s best to use your naked eye to spot meteor showers. Binoculars or telescopes tend to limit your field of view. You may need to spend about half an hour in the dark to get your eyes used to the low light. Star-watchers should be warned that moonlight and the weather can obscure the shows. But if it does, there are usually direct meteor flows like these Hosted by NASA And the By Slooh.

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The Meteor International Organization It lists the variety of meteor showers that can be seen in 2020. Or, you can find more information about some of this year’s showers that will likely be visible below:

Phil Schwartz

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