The biggest meteor shower of the year takes place this month, giving us an incredible show in the night skies. RT has all the information you need to enjoy the heavenly show.
The Geminids are an annual rain of meteorites that takes place in December, when the Earth passes through a mass of dusty debris that burns in our atmosphere.
This results in a spectacular light show that looks as if hundreds of shooting stars are flying through the sky. Geminids contain more mass than any other meteor shower and may include colors like red, blue and yellow.
The dust debris comes from 3200 Phaethon, a strange rocky object that is called an asteroid but that could be an extinct comet – scientists are not sure. Meteor rains tend to originate from comets, making the Geminids even more unique.
So, how can you watch this incredible show?
The Geminids start December 4th and reach their maximum on the 13th, 14th or 15th December, depending on the time zone you are watching.
NASA recommends heading outside after 10:30 pm or when the moon has set and finding the darkest place to look from. Those living in rural areas will be able to see the show more clearly than in urban areas, so city dwellers wishing to capture the event should consider traveling out of town.
After letting the eyes adjust for about 30 minutes, the Geminid meteors will begin to appear above the head in groups, with intervals between each gust of visual pleasure.
By 2 am, the meteors will increase to around 100 hours in the darker areas, with people living in the suburbs expected to see 30-40 hours, and people in the cities see even less .
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The Geminids take their name from the constellation of the Gemini star. This is the point in the sky from which the meteors seem to come, known as radiant. However, meteors do not actually come from here and will be visible all over the sky, NASA explains.
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