Geminid Meteor Shower: When, where and how to watch the magical phenomenon tonight

The Geminids are considered to be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year, with the possibility of sighting around 120 meteors per hour at its peak


                            Geminid Meteor Shower: When, where and how to watch the magical phenomenon tonight
(Getty Images)

A Geminid meteor shower, which will likely be the very best meteor display of the year, will adorn the sky on the night of Sunday, December 13 and the early hours of Monday, December 14. Stargazers can witness the stunning view from around the world, under favorable conditions. Labeled as the best meteor display of the year, Geminid occurs every year in December when the earth passes through a dust trail from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. 

A Geminid meteor (Getty Images)

"Realistically, the predicated rate for observers in the Northern Hemisphere is closer to 60 meteors per hour," NASA officials wrote in an update. "This means you can expect to see an average of one Geminid per minute in dark skies at the shower peak."

According to NASA, "The parent of the Geminids is 3200 Phaethon, which is arguably considered to be either an asteroid or an extinct comet. When the Earth passes through trails of dust, or meteoroids, left by 3200 Phaethon, that dust burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, creating the Geminid meteor shower. All meteors associated with a shower have similar orbits, and they all appear to come from the same place in the sky, which is called the radiant. The Geminids appear to radiate from a point in the constellation Gemini, hence the name Geminids." The Geminids travel at 35 km per second, says NASA. This is about "250 times faster than the swiftest car in the world and over 40 times faster than a speeding bullet".

Geminid meteor shower will be at its most active on the late-night of Sunday, December 13 and in the early hours of Monday, December 14. If you want to watch it online, Slooh online observatory will kick off a webcast at 5:30 pm EST (2230 GMT).

Slooh online observatory astronomers Paul Cox and Bob Berman will kickstart the event, with special guest Dr Mike Shaw. You can watch it on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.com, as well as on the Slooh website and YouTube page. The Virtual Telescope Project by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi in Ceccano, Italy will offer another webcast at 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT). You can follow that webcast on Space.com, as well as directly from the Virtual Telescope Project's website and its YouTube page. The YouTube site CosmoSapiens, which often streams live views of night sky events, will host its own webcast at 4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT).

In Huntsville, Alabama, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center will host a live webcast on Monday, December 14 night on its Facebook page. The NASA meteor webcast begins at 9 pm EST (0200 Dec. 15) and runs through 5 am EST (1000 GMT). 

As soon as the stargazers came to know about the latest meteor display, they started talking about it on Twitter. American systems engineer, Bobak Ferdowsi who works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory wrote, "If you want to be reminded that we’re on a spaceship whirling through the cosmos, go outside tonight, find a dark place, and watch the Geminid meteor shower light up our shields (:Jeff Dai)." While one Internet user said, "If you are obsessed with stars/the moon/the night sky like me, go outside rn and look toward Orion/Gemini and you can see the Geminid meteor shower!!! I live in a city and thought there was no way I would see anything BUT I DID AND I AM."



 

 



 

 

Sharing her experience, another one said, "Something in me tonight told me to stargaze and it turns out tonight is the Geminid meteor shower, the best meteor shower of the year. I love this universe and I love her inclinations." Calling it the "best" another one wrote, "Geminid meteor shower, one of the year's best to watch"



 

 



 

 

Calling it a "magic" one said, "me “magic” for this Christmas season (by magic I mean awe and wonder, not wands and crystal balls). The source of the Geminid meteor shower appears too small to produce such a prolific amount of meteors." And one said, "Up to 120 multicolored meteors per a hour at its peak? The geminid meteor shower is gonna be something special."



 

 



 

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