A Guide To Watching Tonight's Geminid Meteor Shower

Friday, 13 December 2013 - 2:27PM
Astronomy
Friday, 13 December 2013 - 2:27PM
A Guide To Watching Tonight's Geminid Meteor Shower

The Geminid Meteor shower reaches its peak tonight, which means if the conditions are right and you can handle the arctic cold, you could be in for a spectacular show. There should be around 100-150 meteors streaking through our skies tonight so if you can make it out, you absolutely should. To make sure you stand the best chance of belting out some 'ooohs' and 'aaaahs' we've put together a Geminid Meteor Shower Viewing Guide:

 

1. Just Look Up

The first question most people normally ask is "Which direction should I look?". With the Geminds, the answer is anywhere and everywhere. Your best bet is to head out with a group of people and scan the sky because these meteors can pop up almost anywhere.

 

2. Leave it late.

Don't expect to see anything until at least after midnight. Your best chance is to head out after 1am EST. But beware of bright moon light. It is expected that tonight's moon may dampen some of the Geminids' brightness.

 

3. Be Patient

1am may theoretically be the best time to see these guys, but that doesn't mean it's a given. Be patient, this isn't a planned firework show it is a mysterious performance put on by something we call SPACE!

 

4. Get out of town

If you live in the city, we advise you to head as far out into the country. Not only will this reduce the chances of light pollution, but it will maximize the amount of wide open sky you will have above you thus maximizing your chance of seeing the meteor shower.

 

5. Get comfy.

Take up a stance that will maximize your field of vision. Standing upright with your head tilted up for an hour isn't going to feel great when you inevitably head out to do your holiday shopping. Deck chairs or even a nice cozy pile of blankets will allow you to lay relatively horizontally and scan the skies with a limited chance of neck crickage.

 

6. Enjoy the show!

The Geminid Meteor shower is a mystical performance put on from the debris of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. That asteroid is probably billions of years old and you are witnessing little chunks of it hitting Earth's atmosphere. Pretty cool right?

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Astronomy