What is the Geminid meteor shower?
"Even though the Geminids are rich in attractive green fireballs, the lights of New York, San Francisco, or Atlanta will blot even them out". According to Rodgers, the Geminids appear to radiate out of one point out of the constellation Gemini (hence the name Geminids).
The meteor shower comes close to earth every December, making it easy to spot when the sky is clear. Space.com columnist Joe Rao agreed, citing in his column the nice timing of this year's Geminids: the crescent moon will set around 10:30 p.m. local time and will not interfere with any brilliant meteors.
But that doesn't mean you have to look in that direction.
The best viewing will come 2 a.m. Friday, he said.
This dust burns up when it encounters the Earth's Atmosphere.
Every December, Earth's orbit leads us through the trail of 3200 Phaethon and its debris crashes into our atmosphere at 127,000 kms per hour. It has also put out a blog post on how to watch the Geminid meteor shower this year. As the night gets darker, and each shooting star starts to fall, one can observe more over a period of time. To catch the meteors' colorful tails in all their glory, it's best to take a wide view of the sky. 3200 Phaethon is an asteroid whose orbit brings it closer to the sun than Mercury.
The space rock is named after Phaethon, the son of the Greek sun god Helios.
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. Thursday evening the Gemini meteor shower will peak.
In order to see the meteors, you'll need to head away from city lights and let your eyes adjust.
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