Geminid Meteor Shower 2017 - best places to watch the extravaganza in India!

Gwen Vasquez
December 12, 2017

The best time to enjoy the meteor shower this year is on the night of December 13 and morning of December 14. It is reported by NASA on their Twitter page.

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.

At the time of the Civil War, the shower's peak rate was about 30 meteors an hour.

Although the Geminid Meteor Shower is known for around two meteors visible in a minute, this year's shower is expected to be even better, thanks to the parent object (3200 Phaethon) being closer to earth.

The show will compensate for the flop of the Perseid meteor shower in August, when the glare of a full moon snuffed most viewers' attempts to appreciate the event.

The asteroid, a three-mile-wide rock called 3200 Phaethon, will remain a comfortable 6.4 million miles away. This year, a crescent moon will leave a relatively dark sky for the shower to populate with light.

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Stargazers can expect anywhere between 60-120 shooting stars an hour which is considerably more than say the Leonids shower which saw just 15-20 shooting stars an hour last month. In the southern hemisphere, you will have a subdued but still handsome show because Gemini doesn't rise very high above the local horizon.

"If you're in Seattle or Everett or Tacoma, you may see a few, but you have to set aside the time to look", Ingram said. Some might be random background meteors, and some might be from weaker, active showers like the Monocerotids, Sigma Hydrids and the Comae Berenicids.

To increase the chances of seeing meteors, choose a site at least 40 miles from a major city, said. "The darker the night sky, the better", he added.

"By morning, (the meteors) will seem to be raining down on you".

"The shower will start at around 10 pm on December 13 when the Gemini constellation will be visible in the north-eastern sky, a little above and right of the familiar Orion constellation", Duari said.

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