In case you might have missed last month's Taurid and Leonid meteor showers, astronomers have recently confirmed that December will be another chance for stargazers to watch up for the night sky. A spectacular Geminid meteor shower is once again expected to happen this month. NASA has revealed that the Geminids are one of the best and most reliable meteor showers. At its peak, 120 meteors can be seen per hour under perfect conditions, however, there's a catch, this year, experts have found that the peak coincides with a full moon which they say could potentially outshine the show.
Geminids 2016 And The Full Moon
According to reports released by Mirror, the meteor shower occurs in the last month of each year and is created by debris from the 3200 Paethon asteroid that passes close to the sun during its orbit. Like other meteor showers, astronomers said that the Geminid doesn't get going properly yet until the early hours, but the good thing is that you will not need any kind of a specialist's equipment in order to see it. Authorities have also said that the phenomenon will be set to peak from December 12 to December 15. During this period, the Geminids will reward stargazers with bright shooting stars and is particularly visible in the northern hemisphere.
Furthermore, as revealed by the Daily Mail, the meteor shower can be seen starting around 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. local time and are viewable until the early morning hours. Additionally, experts all over the world believes that meteors are the result of particles smaller than one centimeter entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speed, burning up and heating the air around them. In this case, the Geminid meteors are known to have been associated with the object 3200 Phaethon, which many astronomers believe to be an extinct comet.
Ultimately, for those who may be disappointed that the Geminids meteor shower may be outshone by a supermoon this year, the Ursid meteor shower is set to be happening on Dec. 22. People in the UK will be able to spot meteors in the sky around midnight, while those in the US will see the peak in the predawn hours of December 22. It was found out that the final major astronomical event scheduled this year will be the alignment of Jupiter and the moon will also take place during this time.