Biggest meteor shower of the year will see THOUSANDS of fireballs shoot across sky next week – how to spot Geminids

5 mins read


THE BIGGEST meteor shower of 2020 will be taking over the sky next week.

Avid stargazers should note down December 13 in their diaries for the Geminid meteor shower.

EPA

A Geminid meteor spotted a few years ago[/caption]

The Geminids can produce 150 multicolored meteors per hour.

That’s a lot of shooting stars to wish on.

The shower will reach its peak brightest on the evening of December 13 and shine on into the early hours of December 14.

The meteors can look yellow, blue, red and even green.

Getty – Contributor

Geminid meteor shower over Russky Island[/caption]

How to watch the Geminid meteor shower from the UK

Hunting for meteors can be a bit of a waiting game but the Geminid meteors are great because they tend to move slowly across the sky.

You should go to a place with minimal light pollution for the best chance to see some.

You should be able to spot the Geminids with your own eyes but a telescope or binoculars to zoom in on the Gemini constellation may help.

The meteors appear to radiate from the bright star Castor within the constellation, it’s one of the brightest stars in the sky.

Daniel Monk/Bav Media

Sometimes 150 Geminid meteors are visible each hour[/caption]

If it’s cloudy on the December 13 you can always try looking again the following evening.

The shower technically lasts between December 4 to 17.

Stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere should get a better view although in the Southern Hemisphere dwellers will still be able to spot them.

It’s often referred to as the King of Meteor Showers because it is one of the best displays of the year.

The meteor shower occurs every year in mid-December without fail so is a staple in the calendar of keen astronomers.

The flying space rocks actually originate from a mysterious and crumbing 19,000 foot asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.

As the asteroid passes Earth, debris from it scatters in space.

We then spot this as bright flashes each December.

The rock debris burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of around 80,000 miles per hour.

We call this fiery vaporisation a shooting star.

The Sun's top tips for amateur stargazers

Here's an easy guide to get you started…

  • Head up somewhere high
  • Avoid light pollution
  • Bring binoculars
  • Wrap up warm and bring a snack
  • Sit out in the dark for at least half an hour to let your eyes adjust
  • A star spotter guide and a compass can help you find a particular constellation or star


In other space news, aliens may have once lived miles beneath the surface of Mars, research suggests.

China says it has landed on the Moon in a “risky” mission to collect the first lunar samples in four decades.

And, Nasa hopes to peer back in time using the James Webb Space telescope.

Will you be looking out for the meteor shower next week? Let us know in the comments…


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