NASA has announced that it will award the Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest honor, to astronomer Yervant Terzian, the Tisch Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Professor…
As we have already reported earlier, Geminid meteor shower peak will be in the nights of December 13 and 14 observed. Basically, the best moment in the night to watch out falling meteors starts at 2 a.m. and lasts until the morning hours. In the full dark sky, up to 50 falling meteors may be noticed, which is approximately one per minute. However, this time moon will be shining directly in front of the constellation Gemini the Twins, which will let you to see only the brightest falling Geminid meteors.
Below we present tips for Geminid meteor shower observations:
- Observe the sky for few hours. Since the moon will be really bright in the nights of December 13 and 14, you may be lucky if you will notice one or two falling meteors during the night. By observing the dark sky for more than an hour, you may succeed to see more falling Geminidmeteors.
- Choose a desert location far from city lights and illumination. The darker place you will choose for Geminid meteor shower observation, the biggest will be your success. Your eyes will adapt to the dark in about 20 minutes.
- Try to watch Geminid meteor shower before the moonrise. While the moon is not there, the sky will be darker and falling meteors will be visible better. Otherwise, if you are viewing the shower after the moonrise, try to protect yourself from the direct moonlit. Choose a shade of a building, mountain, tree, etc.
- If you are living in mid-northern latitudes, observe the sky in the period from the sunset to the moonrise. Since Geminid meteor shower takes origin from the constellation of Gemini the Twins, you may find that each meteor falls down from the same point. In mid-northern latitudes, the Geminid radiant point reaches eastern horizon before the moon does – around 7 p.m. local time – this makes you a window after the sunset and before the moonlight to watch Geminid meteor shower while the sky is completely dark.
- Try to pick up an observation location with an open sky view. The Geminid radiant point lays close to a noticeable bright star in the constellation of Gemini – the star Castor. You would raise your chances to see falling meteors if you will stick your look to the Gemini the Twins constellation. Finding the constellation is of course easier in the moonlit night than in the moonless sky.
- Along with enjoying the Geminid meteor shower you may also want to check out the planets in the sky. Right after the sunset, Venus and Jupiter are already becoming bright enough to be noticeable in the sky. Shortly before the midnight you may find a red looking Mars in the east. Saturn will come up at about 3 a.m. At that time Jupiter will set out of the sky. Right before the sunrise Mercury comes up in the sky.
- The following information may give you some fun; however it will not raise chances to notice more falling meteors. Versus to other meteor showers that are originated by the comets, Geminid meteor shower is a mysterious body named 3200 Phaethon.
- You do not need to have any special equipment, such as a binocular or a portable telescope to observe the Geminid meteor shower.
- Keep warm. Bring hot drinks and warm clothes with yourself that will make you to enjoy the Geminid meteor shower without freezing out in the cold December night.
- It is always fun to take some activity with a buddy. So choose a friend interested in Geminid meteor shower observation – this will double the chances of you two to notice a falling meteor.