Best Times to Watch the Geminids: The Year's Best Meteor Shower


The shower can be seen throughout Australia but visibility increases the further north you are - so CQ residents are well placed to enjoy the spectacle. The scientists have claimed that the meteor shower will be at its peak on the Wednesday night.

Telescope owners can also catch a glimpse of 3200 Paethon, the 5km-wide asteroid responsible for the meteors.

Earth runs into a stream of debris from 3200 Phaethon every year in mid-December, causing meteors to fly from the constellation Gemini.

Best Times to Watch the Geminids: The Year's Best Meteor Shower
Best Times to Watch the Geminids: The Year's Best Meteor Shower

The meteor shower was named after the constellation Gemini because numerous meteors appear to come from that constellation.

What are meteors and meteoroids?

The meteors we observe probably originated from an ancient collision between Phaethon and another asteroid. In its close approach to Sun, it sheds a huge amount of rock and dust in its path that coincides with the Earth's orbit during December 4-16 every year. Geminids can be seen on nights before and after the December 14 peak, although they will appear less frequently.

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"Meteors or "falling stars" can be seen at an average rate of forty (40) meteors per hour under a dark and cloudless sky condition", the agency said in its monthly astronomical calendar. The shower is supposed to be at its maximum around 2 am on December 14, 2017. "The thin, waning crescent Moon won't spoil the show". It should be visible to bare eyes from about 8.30pm on.

You may be excited as only few days is left for Christmas, but not to forget that you will be surprised by a bright meteor streak across the December sky before Santa does.

For best view, one can hit the hilly dark areas.

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Folks willing to endure some cold and stay up past their bedtimes are about to be treated to the annual Geminid meteor shower this week, which is expected to one of the best of the year.

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