How to Spot This Year's Spectacular Geminids Meteor Shower

Theresa Obrien
December 13, 2018

In flawless conditions-which is to say under clear skies and away from light pollution-you might be able to see as many as 120 Geminid meteors per hour during peak activity. The Geminids are some of the most regular and visible meteor showers. The impressive meteor showers are brought to the Earth's atmosphere every December by an asteroid called Phaethon, which satellite data discovered 35 years ago.

For optimal viewing, it's recommended you drive away from the city and any bright lights; however, because this particular shower is expected to be so active, it's likely you'll be able to see some from your own backyard.

The meteors originate from close to the brightest star in the Gemini constellation known as Castor.

If you can't get out of the city or have no way of securing an unobstructed view of the Geminid meteor shower don't fret Slooh has your back.

The Geminid meteor shower runs from Dec. 4 to Dec. 16, but it peaks on the night of Dec. 13-14.

Today's Google Doodle celebrates one of the most exciting astronomical events that nearly anyone can enjoy for themselves - the Geminid meteor shower.

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Astronomy Ireland are hosting a viewing event on Friday 14 to witness the "once in a lifetime" comet- so views of the meteor shower may also be possible then. A large field is ideal because you can then let your eyes roam across the whole sky.

The 3200 Phaethon may have collided with another object in the distant past, which produced the stream of particles that hurdle across earth's atmosphere and created a meteor shower. While the August Perseid meteor shower is more famous, experts are saying to get outside for this one as well. The really cool aspect of this meteor shower is that at least 120 meteors are produced in an hour. A meteor flash is seen here with an aurora borealis shimmer in Norway.

"The meteor shower is visible the whole day but the actual visibility starts from the night and continues throughout".

When can I see the best meteor showers this December?

Luckily for us, most of these meteoroids are smaller than a grain of sand, meaning they will usually burn up and disintegrate before they reach the Earth's surface.

Google says Phaethon is named after the ancient Greek god Apollo's son. And remember, it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

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