Why the Geminids Are the Best Meteor Shower of 2017

12 December, 2017, 18:17 | Author: Rosa Wright
  • Why the Geminids Are the Best Meteor Shower of 2017

Meteor showers don't require binoculars or telescopes to view - just your bare eyes. While most meteor showers originate from comet remnants, the Geminids are a result of remnants from an asteroid interacting with the Earth's atmosphere. But the recent respite from rain could tilt the odds in our favor, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

As the Earth flies through the debris of a odd cross between a comet and an asteroid, 3200 Phaethon, material from that object will enter the Earth's atmosphere and put on a light show that peaks Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at around 10:30 p.m. each night.

From 5 to 17 December, the Ukrainians in the sky to see the last meteor shower this year - the Geminids stream.

The moon won't rise until 3 a.m., so the night will be dark - as long as you get away from the city.

There will be practically no moon in the sky during the shower.

Steve Owens - astronomer and executive director of the space-themed Crawick Multiverse artland - says the lack of light pollution over Dumfries and Galloway creates ideal viewing conditions.

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What is a meteor shower?

The Geminids are active every December, when Earth passes through a massive trail of dusty debris shed by a weird, rocky object named 3200 Phaethon, Cooke said. "This year's Geminids are very favorable for viewing". The dirt and grit burn up when they run into Earth's environment in a flurry of "shooting stars".

"It's like fireworks. You can see greens and red and blues, if you're lucky".

NASA estimates up to 120 meteors per hour could be seen streaking across all parts of the sky.

"The Geminids offer slow, brighter than average meteors with some having hints of color, reds and yellows", said Eric Vandernoot, astronomy and physics lab coordinator at Florida Atlantic University. "The darker the night sky, the better", he added.

"The shower will start at around 10 pm on December 13 when the Gemini constellation will be visible in the north-eastern sky, a little above and right of the familiar Orion constellation", Duari said.

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