Stargazers, Mark your calendars! One of the greatest and the final meteor shower of the year Geminids Meteor Shower is almost here. For astronomy enthusiasts and sky watchers, it is a great opportunity to witness a spectacular celestial event before the year comes to a close.
Geminids will be peaking on the mornings of December 13, 14 and 15 and gazers can expect to witness some magical fireballs falling out of the winter sky. It is considered to be a very dependable and prolific shooting star event that is caused by the object 3200 Phaethon. Though slow running, this meteor shower usually peaks in mid-December when the shower intensifies offering 50-100 meteors per hour.
As the name suggests, the radiant point lies in the constellation Gemini. However, during peak nights, you can see them falling from any direction. The meteors are usually yellow in colour and travel at medium speed. This is what makes it easy to spot when compared with other meteor showers.
As for Geminids of 2019, Earth Sky reports that the peak morning is likely to be Saturday, but Friday and Sunday will offer a good experience. Since these shooting stars are luminous, one can spot at least 20 even in the moonlit sky. And if it occurs during the new moon phase, one can view up to 50 meteors. Even though you can enjoy the view at any time in the late evening, the best viewing time is around 2 a.m., no matter which part of the world you are in.
If you choose to view the sky event at the twilight, expect fewer meteors but they will be slow-moving and long-lasting as they travel horizontally across the sky. As for the shooting stars appearing at midnight, they are quicker to pass through.
Nevertheless, Geminids will be clearly visible from both the hemispheres. But with the moon in the full moon phase, the sky will be lit all night and it may cause hindrance in the view. However, finding a dark location away from city light is suggested for a better experience. A park or an open area is best recommended by the experts.
Meanwhile, sky gazers do not require special equipment to witness this spectacular celestial act. It can be viewed with naked eyes directly. However, it is suggested to allow your eyes to adjust to the night sky for at least 20 minutes before you begin to revel in the beauty and glory of Geminids lighting up the December sky.