How to Watch The Green Fireballs of The Geminid Meteor Shower

How to Watch The Green Fireballs of The Geminid Meteor Shower

How to Watch The Green Fireballs of The Geminid Meteor Shower

The Geminid meteor shower itself was first noted in the 1860s.

The rising of a new moon just a few days prior to the shower's peak will mean darker skies, which are ideal conditions under which to observe this spectacle.

"No special equipment is needed, and you can look anywhere in the sky", an Astronomy Ireland spokesperson said.

December is a month when dedicated skywatchers have to sacrifice comfort to take in some beauty.

As Earth barrels through that dust and debris, its particles hit the atmosphere at 22 miles per second (35 km/s) and are vaporized in a fiery glow.

When can this be seen? .

The Geminid meteor shower is set to let up to sky tonight and in the early hours of tomorrow morning. If you live in Utah, you can expect the show to start just after 11 p.m. when the moon sets. In suburban areas, where there's likely more light pollution, observers should be able to spot roughly 30 to 40 meteors per hour.

Peaks Thursday night and early Friday (pre-dawn).

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But if you won't be up in those early hours, you can also start watching a couple hours after sunset; the moon will set at about 10:30 p.m. local time on December 13, and about 11 p.m. local time on December 14, so just look after that on either of those nights. Scientists aren't entirely sure how to classify 3200 Phaethon; it has many characteristics of an asteroid, but boasts the elliptical orbit of a comet. Dress for the weather if you're going meteor watching.

A meteor is the flash of light in the night sky caused when a small chunk of interplanetary debris burns up as it passes through Earth's atmosphere. Phaethon is a rare blue comet which measures three miles across and orbits around the Sun every 1.4 years.

Meanwhile, the Geminids meteor shower will consist of multi-coloured shooting stars visible from the ground on Thursday and Friday. Even though the asteroid's name dates all the way back to ancient Greek times, the actual Geminid meteor shower is estimated to be almost 200 years old and is producing more meteors than ever.

The Geminids look as if they originate from the constellation Gemini, hence the name.

"Lie flat on your back and look straight up, taking in as much sky as possible".

While classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid, Phaeton is expected to keep a safe distance from Earth for at least the next 400 years, according to Sky and Telescope magazine.

In the month of December every year, a meteor shower wows skywatchers around the world.

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