Christmas Comet, meteor shower to light up Australian sky

Gwen Vasquez
December 14, 2018

"With the moon setting just before midnight, conditions should be flawless for a classic Geminids meteor shower this year", Slooh astronomer Paul Cox said in a statement. Initially spotted over three decades ago, they are called Geminids because the shower seems to begin from the constellation "Gemini".

The Geminid meteor shower will peak from midnight until daybreak on 13 and 14 December. When observing the sky in search of meteors, viewers should look toward the namesake constellation since most meteors will be visible in that location, though looking in any direction will still work.

You should let your eyes adjust to the darkness, then look straight up. And tonight's meteor shower is a great one to watch with family, as other meteor showers often begin in the wee hours of the morning. The Geminid Meteor Shower a true spectacle and it's going to be at its best, brightest and clearest.

Geminid has been increasing in intensity since first observed back in 1862, and now is considered the most intense of the annual meteor showers, particularly for the Northern Hemisphere.

Meanwhile, the Geminids meteor shower will consist of multi-coloured shooting stars visible from the ground on Thursday and Friday. "It will be a waxing crescent off to the southwest and set around 10:30 p.m".

You will be able to witness over 100 shooting stars in just an hour, but only till the sky remains dark. The meteors burn off different colors depending on what chemicals they're composed of, but you can expect to see yellow, red, blue-green and violet in the skies.

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The Geminid meteor shower happens every year, when the Earth flies through debris left behind by an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon. The stream will show last year's meteor shower until Thursday night.

The doodle, while not animated, is a super-adorable slideshow that depicts the evolution of the Geminid meteor shower from its parent body, the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, to the fantastic celestial event we know today.

The shower could still be visible Friday evening.

Of course, with light pollution becoming more of a problem in the Northeast, it's better to find as dark a spot to observe as possible, astronomers point out.

Get ready for what might be the best meteor shower of 2018.

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