Google Doodle Reminds Us to Watch Tonight's Geminid Meteor Shower

Google Doodle Reminds Us to Watch Tonight's Geminid Meteor Shower

Phaethon's debris trail should become visible to the naked eye after 9 pm on December 13, peaking after midnight with as many as 120 meteors per hour.

The Geminid meteor shower will peak Thursday evening, December 13 into Friday morning.

Scientists think that 3200 Phaethon - which orbits the sun every 1.4 Earth years - could be a "dead comet", according to NASA, meaning it doesn't develop a comet's distinctive tail when it gets close to the sun and looks somewhat like an asteroid.

In the hours before sunrise Friday, the most meteors will be visible in the North American sky, peaking about 7:30 a.m. ET, predicts Sky & Telescope.

"The Geminids will appear to the north-east, just above the horizon in the constellation of Gemini", she said. If the moon is still out when you're watching, face away from it to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

"The Geminids are considered one of the best and most reliable meteor showers of the year, with shooting stars that are commonly bright with long persisting trains", the UK's Met Office said in a statement.

According to unconfirmed reports, the Geminid meteor shower is likely to be visible Rajasthan's Alwar, around Himalayas belt.

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If you are eager to see the shower yourself, you won't need any special equipment or need to travel far.

The shower, or Geminids, occurs every year when Earth passes through a massive trail of debris from an object called 3200 Phaeton.

There is no particular area of the sky to watch, as meteors may appear in any visible portion of the sky - the optimal viewing position is actually lying down on the ground to keep an eye on as much of the sky as possible. There's no specific direction in the sky to look to find them.

How to watch the Geminid meteor shower in India?

What is Geminid Meteor Shower? (Astromony magazine thinks this will be local time in most time zones) The meteor shower is going to peak at 2 a.m.

The cosmic debris that causes the Geminids comes from a unusual object called 3200 Phaethon, which is named after a son of the ancient Greek god Helios. At this time of year, many northerly regions are quite cold, so be sure to pack warm clothes, blankets and hot drinks. However, they can appear nearly anywhere in the night sky, and often appear yellowish in hue. A meteor flash is seen here with an aurora borealis shimmer in Norway. Meteor watchers recommend 15-20 minutes.

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