In another 24 hours, the world will start witnessing the much-anticipated Geminid meteor shower dazzling through the sky. The phenomenal cosmic event will be visible at several parts across the world between December 13–16.
“Don’t miss out on one of the most prolific and reliable meteor showers of the year! The Geminid meteor shower will put on a dazzling display for sky watchers when it peaks on Dec. 13. You’ll be able to see up to 100 meteors per hour. Plan ahead,” tweeted NASA.
Don’t miss out on one of the most prolific and reliable meteor showers of the year! The Geminid meteor shower will put on a dazzling display for sky watchers when it peaks on Dec. 13. You’ll be able to see up to 100 meteors per hour. Plan ahead: https://t.co/m8nua7Qapl pic.twitter.com/Bp2Cti2TYY
— NASA (@NASA) December 13, 2018
Before we get down to the details of where to watch the display, let's understand what's the event all about.
What is the Geminid meteor shower
In the month of December every year, a meteor shower wows skywatchers around the world. Defined as the "best and most reliable" meteor shower of the year by NASA, the spectacular sky show is generated because of an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon. Initially thought to be emerging from the constellation Gemini (from where it gets the name Geminid), scientists later discovered that the Geminids are fragments of 3200 Phaethon.
“The asteroid has a debris trail in orbit around the sun. Once a year, Earth runs into this dusty path, which intersects our planet's path through space,” explains space.com.
These showers were first reported in the mid-1800s, where about 10-20 meteors would whiz past the earth's atmosphere per hour. But nowadays, nearly 120 meteors can be seen across the sky at the peak. Watch meteors showers observed in the skies over Daytona Beach, Florida, during the 2018 Geminid shower by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
How to watch the Geminid meteor shower in India
According to unconfirmed reports, the Geminid meteor shower is likely to be visible Rajasthan's Alwar, around Himalayas belt. Ideally, one should try to watch it at a less polluted area, away from the cities and lights. The shower is expected to light up the skies from 4:00 am - 9:00 am on Saturday, 15 December.