From a rare ‘Christmas star’ on the winter solstice to the Cold Full Moon just before the new year, there are plenty of awesome celestial events to watch out for this December. A phenomenon that has astronomers most excited?
Peaking on the nights of December 13 and 14, from Sunday night until dawn this Monday, the most active meteor shower of 2020 will take place in the form of the Geminids.
Farmers Almanac reports that, with a clear sky, “you can easily detect 50 or more meteors per hour. On an optimal night for the Geminids, it may even be possible to see up to 100 meteors per hour. “
With the new moon on December 14, this year the skies will be darker and meteor watching will be a little better.
What are the Geminids?
According to POT, these shooting stars are “caused by a debris stream left by asteroid 3200 Phaethon. When the Earth passes through the dust trails that Phaethon leaves every December 3200, we see the Geminid meteor shower as the dust (meteoroids) burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere creating meteors. “
Visible around the world, although best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere, you don’t need to look in a particular direction to spot these burning dust specks.
Just find a dark spot, a large patch of open sky, and look up. Best time to see fireballs flying through the sky? In the darkest hour. That is, shortly before dawn.
Because the Geminids are so bright, many people say that these meteors show colors. Keep an eye out for shooting stars appearing yellow, green, and blue as you watch, and tell us what hues you see.
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