Specialists argued that this week the Geminid meteor shower will begin. Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) have announced the anxious star gazers that the Geminid meteor shower is bound to amaze everyone. Every year, this celestial show attracts many curious people passionate about astrology and stars. This year, the meteor shower was predicted to reach its peak, being calculated at approximately 120 meteors per hour.
The event is bound to start on December 13 at around 7 p.m. Eastern time. Specialists claim that the most appropriate period to watch the meteor shower may be overnight on December 12 and 13, but also the night between December 13 and 14.
What is even more exciting and spectacular is that on December 13 we will also have a round full moon which synchronized with the peak of the meteor shower at 7:05 p.m. Some stargazers may have a fantastic opportunity to see the most amazing Geminids, while others will probably not be able to notice the fainter meteors due to the bright sky illuminated by the full moon.
Meteors represent the outcome of dust particles which cause the atmosphere to sparkle as soon as the particles hit the upper atmosphere. Back in 1983, astronomers have established that the primary source of the debris responsible for causing the Geminids is the 3200 Phaethon asteroid.
This type of event was categorized by specialists as being unusual since meteor showers are fueled by the debris of comets, not asteroids. Phaethon is known to orbit the sun, shedding particles of dust which linger as a trail of detritus in its wake. Our planet meets this trail of rubble every year, at the same point, when it undergoes its annual revolution around the sun. Thus, the result is the Geminids which happen approximately on the same date every year.
Experts passionate about this type of celestial show, and astronomers argue that curious people and star gazers can observe the Geminid meteor shower starting with 10 p.m. up until dawn because the constellation rises higher in the sky. Specialists advise people to see the falling meteors from a dark and clear place, with a good view of the horizon. To watch this meteor shower, we do not need telescopes or binoculars as the falling stars are quite bright.
Image courtesy of: flickr