Geminid meteor shower to peak in coming days

Землю накроет самый яркий метеоритный дождь

This pre-Christmas display of celestial fireworks will reach its peak during the long, dark hours from Wednesday night (Dec. 13) into early Thursday morning (Dec. 14), Space.com reports.

NASA advises all stargazers to seek out the Geminid meteors in the pre-dawn hours, when the peak is at its most intense.

Since being discovered in the mid-1880s, the geminids have grown from 10 to 20 meteors an hour to upwards of 100.

The best place to watch the showers is where the sky is darkest.

The Geminids meteor shower as seen in Taliaferro, Georgia.

Notably, the Geminids are also one of two meteor showers that come from what is believed to be an asteroid.

The show will compensate for the flop of the in August, when the glare of a full moon snuffed most viewers' attempts to appreciate the event.

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"So don't be put off by the fact that you're waiting for five or so minutes and you still haven't seen a meteor". Phaethon is possibly what NASA refer to as a "dead comet" or "rock comet".

"What you'll see is streaks of light just to the right of the constellation of Orion", Stardome says. The next time 3200 Phaethon approaches Earth at such a close distance will be 2093. As the comet gets close to the sun, the ice melts a bit and releases tiny rocks.

Every year in mid-December, the earth passes by debris left over from asteroid Phaethon which orbits the sun every 1.4 years.

The radiant point, where the meteors appear to be coming from, is within the Gemini Twins constellation. Without any moonlight, the meteors have a better chance to shine.

NASA will broadcast the Geminid shower live on Ustream Dec. 13 from the Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

There are plenty of other handsome things to see in the December night sky, Dr Musgrave said.

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