Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Geminid Meteor Shower, Comet to Put on Shows

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Doris Mccormick | 17 December, 2018, 16:56

However, one of the "big three" of the year, the Geminids, peaks tonight.

"Geminids is a very exciting meteor shower with different orbital resonances with Jupiter". Even better, its shooting stars are distinctly yellow with long tails, truly a sight to behold in a clear sky.

However the Geminids meteors are the broken debris from the space object the 3200 Phaethon.

The Doodle on Thursday follows the Geminids' path through Earth's atmosphere as it lights up the sky through a slideshow.

The Geminids look as if they originate from the constellation Gemini, hence the name.

This will be rare chance for Australians will have to catch a glimpse of the comet, which appears only once every five years.

From 50 to over 100 meteors may be visible per hour.

With each passing year since the mid-1800s, the proliferation of yellowish streaks of light in the night-time sky have grown more intense.

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Meteorological departments recommend that the best view shall be seen once the radiant gets higher in the night sky. The Geminid Meteor Shower a true spectacle and it's going to be at its best, brightest and clearest. The darker your sky, the better, though you don't have to leave the city to see the brighter ones.

Double-check your local forecast to make sure clouds won't obstruct your view.

Here is everything you need to know about the meteor shower and how you can see it for yourself tonight.

Geminid meteors are bright and fast (79,000 mph), and the shower is famous for producing fireballs, which are meteors brighter than magnitude -4, the same magnitude as the planet Venus.

Depending on your vantage point, this year's Geminid meteor showers could be more spectacular than the Perseids, which peaked in mid-August. Few of us live in such a meteor utopia.

What is the Zenithal Hourly Rate?

ZHR is astro-talk for "the maximum you would see if you had flawless conditions. and wide-angle eyes".

If you can't stay up until 2 a.m., Sky & Telescope reports the Earth will pass through the thickest part of 3200 Phaethon's debris, with the most potential for meteors, around 7:30 a.m. eastern time on Friday.

You should be able to catch as many as 120 shooting stars an hour over the next night or so.

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