News Item

Geminid meteor shower

Although visible from 6 to 19 December, the spectacular Geminid meteor shower will peak on the 13th and 14th.

The show will start at mid-to-late evening and end at dawn. The yellow-coloured meteors tend to be few and far between in the early evening, but intensify in number as evening deepens into late night. Although giving a better display in the northern hemisphere, they are still visible from southerly latitudes.

It is unfortunate that this year they coincide with a bright Moon, but they are promised to be very bright. If possible, position oneself in the Moon's shadow - and remember that it can take up to 20 minutes for the eyes to adapt to the conditions.

The meteors travel in many directions, but if one traces their paths backward, they seem to radiate from the constellation Gemini - hence the shower’s name. But whilst the bright star Castor in that constellation is about 52 light-years away, the meteors burn up in the upper atmosphere about 60 miles or 100 km above the Earth’s surface.

Details from the EarthSky link below.

  • 12 December 2013
  • Space

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