Huge Meteor Shower Happening Today; Here's Everything You Need To Know

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Huge meteor shower, Geminids, which is active throughout December will hit its peak this weekend, that is December 13 and December 14. Ursids are next in line.

Written By Riya Baibhawi | Mumbai | Updated On:

The annual Geminid Meteor shower which is active throughout December will hit its peak on December 13 and December 14. The Geminids can have up to 120 meters every year. The next meteor showers are the Ursid meteor shower which are all set to hit Earth on of Dember 21 December and December 22.

Ursids are next

Talking about the meteor shower, ASA observatory meteor expert Bill Cooke has said that the dust and grit burn up when they run into Earth's atmosphere causing a flurry of 'shooting stars'. The Geminids are basically pieces of debris from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. Earth runs into Phaethon’s debris stream every year in mid-December, causing meteors to fly from the direction of the constellation Gemini giving them the name ‘Geminids.’

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This year, the peak is during the overnight hours of December 13 and December 14. Weather permitting, Geminids can be best viewed around 2am local time on December 14, when the Geminid radiant is highest in the night sky. The best way to see them is to find the darkest place around. People are also advised to give 30 mins to their eyes to adapt to the darkness before looking out for the meteors.

Read: Taurids Meteor Shower To Reach Its Peak On Bonfire Night In UK

Read: Scientists Discover A New Bacteria That Feeds On Meteorites For Nutrients

The Geminids are best observed in the Northern Hemisphere though some Geminids are visible from everywhere except Antarctica. Under dark, clear skies, the Geminids can produce up to 120 meteors per hour – but this year, a bright, nearly full moon will hinder observations of the shower. Still, observers can hope to see up to 30 meteors per hour. 

Last month, Taurid Meteor Shower happened from September 7 to December 10. This year, it was highly concentrated on November 5 which was coincidentally bonfire night in the UK. Such showers produce around 5-10 meteors per hour, so one has to keen to spot one. The date was also a First Quarter Moon - a primary moon phase when we can see exactly half of the moon’s surface illuminated. The moon was out of focus shortly after midnight. 

Read: NASA Finds Presence Of Sugar In Meteorites That Crashed To Earth

Read: Àlpha Monocerotids | 'Unicorn Meteor' Storm Predicted This Week In The United States

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