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Amayra Badoni

Student (Delhi University) | Posted 13 Dec, 2018 |

What is Geminid Meteor Shower?

Sameer Kumar

Software engineer at HCL technologies | Posted 13 Dec, 2018

To start with, it is an extraterrestrial activity, and one of the most beautiful ones at that.

geminid-meteor-shower-letsdiskuss (Courtesy: amsmeteors.org)

Meteor showers, basically, are natural showering of meteors, unpredictably. Geminid Shower, however, is reliable, and one of the best. At the time of the shower, you can see around 50-120 meteors per hour in the nighttime sky.

The parent of Geminid is 3200 Phaethon, which is a “rock comet”. So the Geminid meteor shower takes place when earth crosses the orbit of this rock comet, every December. This phenomenon leads to the debris of 3200 Phaethon to fall into the earth’s upper atmosphere. This debris has a speed of about 80,000 miles per hour and is vaporized as the colorful, beautiful, Geminid meteor.

geminid-meteor-shower-letsdiskuss (Courtesy: ktuu.com)

This year these showers can be seen at the dawn of 13th and 14th of December, in the dark sky around 2 am, that too without any aid. Being one of the most reliable meteor showers, it can be seen from both Southern and Northern hemisphere, but better from the Northern hemisphere.

At 2 am, the radiant point of the shower will be at the highest point in the sky. According to the general rule, the higher the constellation Gemini in the sky, the more are the number of meteors we see. It’s interesting to note that Geminid’s radiant point coincides with the two stars of Gemini constellation, Castor and Pollux. You, however, don’t need to spot the radiant points to enjoy these showers.

geminid-meteor-shower-letsdiskuss (Courtesy: astrobob.areavoices.com)