Get ready, all the enthusiastic shy watchers out there. The year’s most spectacular meteor showers, called the Geminids, are coming this Wednesday and these are going to blow your mind. Although they have started entering our earth’s atmosphere since December 4, on December 13-14, they are going to be at the peak of their activity. So, if you have missed watching the Supermoon that graced the night sky recently, or the Leonid meteor showers event, then do not worry.
The Geminid meteor showers are considered as one of the brightest meteor showers occurring in the Earth’s night sky, and this time these are expected to be bigger and brighter owing to a clear and dark night sky. Last year, Geminid meteor shower was a flop, because the supermoon’s bright light dominated the night sky and made the Geminids look faint. So, this time around, when the Geminid meteor shower peaks, the night sky will very dark as there will be a thin, waning crescent moon. Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said, “With August’s Perseids obscured by bright moonlight, the Geminids will be the best shower this year. The thin, waning crescent Moon won’t spoil the show.”
But Washington Post reported that, in some parts of the US, clouds might obstruct the view. Still, in most of the areas, the sky will be clear, and people can easily witness the dazzling Geminids. According to the scientists, although the meteor shower peaks Wednesday night, it will be still visible on Thursday and Friday night sky, but with low meteor counts. Cook informed that the shower will peak overnight Dec. 13-14 with rates around one to two per minute under good conditions. Geminid activity is broad, good rates will be seen between 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 and dawn local time the morning of Dec. 14, with the most meteors visible from midnight to 4 a.m. on Dec. 14, when the radiant is highest in the sky, stated Cooke.
The Geminids come under those rare showers that generate visible meteors all throughout the night. Some meteors look like fireballs dazzling in the night sky. These meteors become active during the month of December every year and are said to be coming out from out from a point near the bright star Castor in, present in the constellation Gemini. During December, the Earth passes through a huge trail of dusty debris shed by a weird, rocky object named 3200 Phaethon. So when this dust and debris enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up look like shooting stars, and we get to see the Geminid meteor showers. As per NASA, Geminids can be clearly seen with naked eyes under clear dark skies in most parts of the world, but the best view will be from the Northern hemisphere.