According to experts, stunning astronomical events are set to grace the December night skies. One of the attraction to look forward is the Geminids meteor shower expected to see next week. The Geminids meteor shower is one of the most anticipated events every year and will peak on the evening of December 14.
Know Geminids Meteor Shower
A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds. Most meteors are smaller than a grain of sand, so almost all of them disintegrate and never hit the Earth's surface.
The Geminids are a meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a "rock comet" orbit. This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet. The Palladian family of asteroids is a grouping of B-type asteroids at very high inclinations in the intermediate asteroid belt.
Stargazers Are Expecting Geminids Meteor Shower Next Week
Geminids were first observed in 1862, much more recently than other showers such as Perseids (36 AD) and Leonids (902 AD). The meteors from this shower are slow moving and can be seen on December 13 to14, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of December 14. However, the moon will be full on the peak evening and might spoil the meteor show.
The timing for the annual Geminid meteor shower is not ideal, because happens to coincide with the bright full moon. But astronomy experts say the shower should still provide enough shooting stars to make it worth watching. "It's one of the best and most reliable (meteor showers of the year) because it's in the early evening and it's bright," said Jim Roselli, president of New Jersey Astronomical Association.