Geminid meteor shower tonight: How to watch the shooting star show

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A Geminid meteor captured its last, flaming moments.


THE Ass the meteor shower gets a lot of attention because it is active on warm summer nights in the northern hemisphere, but in most years the Geminids are the strongest and the conditions are ideal this year. The 2020 Geminid meteor shower is officially active and heading for its peak. On Sunday, December 13th and Monday, December 14th, you can see up to 150 meteors per hour in ideal conditions.

Better yet, it’s one of the few big meteor showers that doesn’t require you to wake up before dawn to catch the best part. According to the American Meteor Society, the Geminids provide good activity “before midnight” because the constellation of Gemini is in the right place from 10 p.m. “

This simply means that the celestial region from which the meteors appear to appear is located high in the sky early at night. It will be the highest around 2am local time, but starting before midnight there is a good chance you will see plenty. What’s more, these clocks are best suited to see bright, slow-moving “Earth pastures” on the horizon.

Sky & Telescope magazine forecasts that the moment of peak activity for the 2020 Geminids will be around It should reach around 5pm (ET ET 8pm), making it ideal for many in America to catch them before the kids go to bed.

“It’s worth venturing into the cold during the climax of this shower,” says Diana Hannikainen, an observer at Sky & Telescope. “The Geminids show the ‘falling stars’ best all year round.”

Bottom line: There’s no real bad time looking for Geminids. Not even need to stare at the Gemini to spot the Geminids. Meteors can appear almost anywhere in the night sky, but they usually move el from the Twins.

Fortunately, the moon is doing its best to provide these conditions by making those nights scarce. It will only be the smallest piece of the moon if it is visible at all, and the new moon will fall on December 14th. The rest is a function of local weather, and its ability to find a wide, clear view of the night sky, away from light, is pollution.

If you can solve this, all you have to do is dress appropriately, sit back, let your eyes stand up, relax, and pay attention. Geminids can range from faint, fleeting “shooting stars” to streaks of bright, intense color and perhaps even a fireball. You will have a better chance of detecting meteors in the northern hemisphere, but the Geminids can also be seen south of the Equator, only late at night and in fewer numbers.

If weather conditions don’t work together, the Rome Virtual Telescope Project plans to hold an online viewing party.

We get meteor showers as the Earth drifts through debris clouds, which are usually left behind by comets visiting. In the case of the Geminids, the debris comes from the so-called “rock comet.” 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a potentially extinct comet orbiting the inner solar system.

I hope to put together a Geminid glamor gallery this year. If you have an astrophotographic slice and manage to catch some great meteor shots, please let me know on Twitter or Instagram @EricCMack.