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Meteor Magic: Geminid meteors illuminate the sky!

The night sky has always captivated humanity with its celestial wonders, and one of the most awe-inspiring events is the Geminid meteor shower. This annual meteor shower is renowned for its intensity, bright meteors, and reliable performance, making it a favorite among stargazers and astronomers alike. In this article, we'll explore the fascinating phenomenon of the Geminid meteor shower, uncovering its origins, peak viewing times, and the best ways to enjoy this celestial spectacle.

Geminid meteor shower offers an annual spectacle of bright meteors, this years meteor shower is about to peak during the early hours of December 14th but Geminids are likely to be seen in the nights ahead too until December 24th. The Geminid meteor shower occasionally takes the lead as the most intense shower of the year, showcasing a peak rate of around 150 meteors per hour and includes some of the brightest fireballs one can withness.

Origins of Geminids:

While most meteor shower originate from comets spewing small debris to space, Geminids are caused by leftover bits and pieces of the asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon.
Discovered through images captured by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) on October 11, 1983, astronomers Simon Green and John Davies initially designated the celestial object as 1983 TB. Later, in 1985, it was officially named 3200 Phaethon. Upon calculating its orbit, Fred Whipple revealed an astonishing finding: 3200 Phaethon shares the same orbital path as the Geminid meteor shower, a unique association between an asteroid and a meteor shower.

The mechanism by which material from the asteroid's surface or interior is released into the meteoroid stream remains unknown, remains of this mystery visits our planet every year as the meteoroid stream intersects Earth's orbit each mid-December, resulting in the annual Geminid meteor shower.

A bright fireball streaking across the skies

Observing tips:

In the upcoming meteor shower peak activity stargazers can expect to see atleast 120 meteors per hour streaking across the sky. This remarkable display is also happening on a moonless night, enchanting the viewing experience

To get started, find a dark sky location away from streetlights and other artificial light sources. Take out your preferred star chart application from your smart phone and look for the constellation of Gemini. The bright star Castor will act as a beacon where the meteor shower radiates from. Find a nice place to lie down and watch the stars fall from the skies!

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