How to see this spectacular holiday meteor shower

Mindy Sparks
December 7, 2017

Observe the Geminids next Wednesday evening, December 13 and Thursday morning, December 14.

It will also be visible earlier in the evening than most meteor showers, beginning at around 9 or 10 p.m., making it an ideal shower to check out for children or those who don't like to stay up, according to Space.com.

A view of a Meteor Shower.

The shower will appear from the direction of the constellation Gemini, and climb slowly into the sky throughout the night, Earth Sky reports. As asteroid 3200 Phaethon orbits the sun about once every 1.4 years, it leaves behind a trail of debris.

Geminids meteor shower 2017: What is it?


Mr Magro's final tip for this year's event was to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare, even if you are just planning on watching the shower.

You're more likely to see the shower if you live on the east coast of the USA, given the moon is due to rise about 3.30am, with just a sliver (10% or so) illuminated, meaning its brilliance won't outshine (quite literally) that of the shower. It is the meteors from a particular swarm all appearing to shoot out from a particular point among the constellations, a point called the radiant.

"The Geminids is always a visual treat to experience and document, and this year I wanted to bring that experience to more people through my workshop", Mr Magro said. This year on the big night, the moon doesn't rise until about 3:30 a.m. - and is even then only a slender crescent - with 10 percent of the moon illuminated - so it doesn't really bother our view of the Geminids. The 2017 Geminids meteor shower will soon be heres - no telescope or binoculars required. If you live in the United Kingdom, with its unending proclivity for leaden skies, you may not be so lucky but don't despair; you may still get a chance to see some ethereal pairings of the crescent moon with the planets Jupiter and Mars instead.

Touted by Perth Observatory as the meteor shower to see in the southern hemisphere, they reach their peak on the nights of December 13 and 14. Observers need to go to areas with little light pollution. The meteors will be going to all parts of the sky. By 9 or 10 p.m. the numbers could be up to four dozen or more per hour. But at the same time the next day the moon is dramatically close to the upper right of bright Jupiter.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER