The Geminid Meteor Shower is one of the most magnificent phenomena to happen in the skies. The viewers will have a treat with green fireballs showering in the night sky. According to NASA, this shower occurs in the month of December and this time on the days of 13th and 14th, i.e, Thursday and Friday. The meteors are named after the Constellation, Gemini which seems to be the origin. As many as 100 meteors are likely to show up at the peak of the shower this December 2018.
The shower occurs in the month of December when the Earth revolving on its orbit around the Sun comes near to the tail of the asteroid ‘3200 Phaethon’. The asteroid takes 1.4 years to completely orbit the Sun. This phenomenon was first recorded in the year 1862, shows up bright in the month of December.
Geminid Shower is known for its ‘Shooting Stars’ but the visibility index depends on the clearness of the sky and the time of the night. Early hours are the best for viewing the shower, facing away from the moon. Keeping the moon at our backs, the countries in the Northern Hemisphere can have the best view.
The NASA Officials have given 2 am to 4 am to be the best time and the peak time for the most showers. From where to watch them? Clear skies, far from pollution and the darkest time of the night would be the answer. Where in India can we watch them? For example, Alwar in Rajasthan, the Northern States of Himalayas, and rural areas of Maharashtra.
NASA’s meteor expert Mr Bill Cooke says The best time to view the Geminids is around 2 am local time. The moon will be the first quarter, so it will set around midnight; there will be no moonlight to interfere with the Geminids this year”.
To enjoy the scene, we need not carry any binoculars nor any special glasses, or even telescopes. Away from the city lights and pollution, lay back, relax and let our eyes adjust to the bright shower, which can take about 15 to 20 minutes. Watch and enjoy the shower for quite a few hours.