Want to wish upon a shooting star? Here’s your chance to see one of the world’s favourite meteor showers – the Geminids. The shower begins in early December every year and will peak on December 14 this year lasting till December 17.
What are the Geminids?
These are debris from a celestial object known as 3,200 Phaethon and while some astronomers consider this to be an extinct comet, others argue that it has to be an asteroid because of its orbit and similarity to the main-belt asteroid Pallas.
Geminids are denser than meteors enabling them to get as low as 29 miles above Earth’s surface before burning up and can be seen by most of the world. Geminids are best observed by inhabitants of the Earth’s northern hemisphere.
How fast are Geminids?
NASA reveals that Geminids travel 78,000 mph (35 km/s). This is over 1000 times faster than a cheetah, about 250 times faster than the swiftest car in the world, and over 40 times faster than a speeding bullet!
How many Geminids can one observe on December 13 and 14?
According to NASA, realistically, the predicated rate for observers in the northern hemisphere is closer to 30-40 meteors per hour. Observers in the Southern Hemisphere will see fewer Geminids than those in the northern hemisphere – perhaps 25% of rates in the Northern Hemisphere.
Best time to catch the meteor shower from Northeast India
“Geminids will be visible from all across the country and from our region, especially, it is best to watch the night sky after midnight; around 3 am for the meteor shower,” an Astro-photographer and enthusiast from Guwahati, Stephen Styris told EastMojo.
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