Don’t miss the spectacular shooting stars during the Geminid meteor shower

December 5, 2018
By

The stunning Geminid meteor shower is back to add a little sparkle to the Surrey skies over the next few weeks.

The famed and much-anticipated meteor shower happens around the same time each year as the Earth passes through asteroid debris in its orbit.

The results of the residual debris burning up in our atmosphere are a charming show of up to 100 meteors or ‘shooting stars’ an hour during the storm, Birmingham Live reports.

However you will have to pick your night carefully as evenings are getting cloudy.

The best night to see them this week if you’re in the Guildford area is on Monday (December 10), when the Met Office is expecting a clear night sky.

Read More

More for Stargazers

What is the Geminid meteor shower?

The Geminid meteor shower takes place every December as the Earth passes through a debris trail from 3200 Phaethon.

The meteors or ‘shooting stars’ are the result of small particles, in some cases as small as a grain of sand, entering the Earth’s upper atmosphere at some 130,000mph and lighting up the nighttime as fast-moving streaks of light.

It is called the Geminid shower because the meteors appear to come from the part of the sky associated with the constellation Gemini, although really it is the asteroid 3200 Phaethon that causes them.

View gallery

When and how can I watch the meteors?

The meteor shower started on December 4, and will run until around December 17.

The Earth will slam into the thickest part of the asteroid’s debris on December 13 and 14.

This time around there will be a half moon but it will drop below the horizon at midnight and won’t spoil the view after that.

Wherever you are in the world, the best time to watch is around 2am, although they are visible from sunset to sunrise.

And of course everything depends on the weather. Clouds could block your view completely.

Geminids over St Martha’s Church, Guildford
(Image: Dan James)

Just wrap up warm and head outside and find a spot of night sky away from bright city lights and light pollution, and look up.

Give yourself at least an hour of observing time as the meteors can come in spurts and are interspersed with lulls.

For those hoping for a break in the clouds tonight (December 5), you will have to get your timing right.

The Met office has said that rain will be clearing from the west through the first part of the night and will be largely dry but cloudy after midnight, staying mild for the time of year. Minimum temperatures are around 9 °C.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/geminid-meteor-shower-shooting-star-15509374


Famous Words of Inspiration...

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *