Geminid Meteor Shower to peak tonight: Where and how to watch in India
New Delhi, Dec 13: Geminid Meteor Shower, an annual celestial event, will peak tonight and can be watched all across the Northern Hemisphere, including India. There is no need of any special gear to watch this celestial event and all that one has to do is to find a dark place, and look up at the sky.
Where to watch Geminid Meteor Shower?
As per a NASA post, Geminid rate will increase towards the morning and it can be witnesses at a theoretical maximum of about 100 per hour at around 2 AM. NASA recommends waiting until 10:30 PM local time to go out.
To enjoy this celestial event to the fullest, it is better to go away from the cities and find a place where there is no artificial lighting. In cities, the street lights and other lights in the buildings may hamper the experience.
What is Geminid Meteor Shower?
The Geminids are a meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon. Every year, in December, our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of an object called 3200 Phaethon, a mysterious body that is sometimes referred to as a rock comet. The debris shed by 3200 Phaethon crashes into Earth's upper atmosphere at extremely high speed, to vaporize as colorful Geminid meteors.
The meteors in this shower appear to come from a radiant in the constellation Gemini (hence the shower's name). However, they can appear almost anywhere in the night sky, and often appear yellowish in hue. Well north of the equator, the radiant rises about sunset, reaching a usable elevation from the local evening hours onwards.
In the southern hemisphere, the radiant appears only around local midnight or so. Observers in the northern hemisphere will see higher Geminid rates as the radiant is higher in the sky. The meteors travel at medium speed in relation to other showers, at about 35 km/s, making them fairly easy to spot. The Geminids are now considered by many to be the most consistent and active annual shower. Geminids disintegrate while at heights above 39 km.