Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Geminid meteors peak Wednesday and they could be awesome!

The meteor shower will be visible across the bi-state The meteor shower will be visible across the bi-state
Devin Neal | 12 December, 2017, 18:21

But those of you who can bundle up and fearless the cold - and if the skies are clear - it will be possible to see upwards of 120 "shooting stars" an hour, as they bolt across the sky at a blazing 35 km per second.

The Geminids are unusual in that they are not shed by a classic icy comet but a body that shares characteristics of both comets and asteroids.

People across the city and elsewhere in the country will get an awesome opportunity to witness a meteor shower display on Wednesday night. The shower will remain overnight December 13-14 with rates approximately one per minute under suitable circumstances, according to Cooke.

On a typical night, you might expect to see a handful of meteors per hour-anywhere from two to 16, according to the American Meteor Society, depending on the time of day and year.

The asteroid, a three-mile-wide rock called 3200 Phaethon, will remain a comfortable 6.4 million miles away.

The meteor shower, the Geminids, passes the earth every year, but may be particularly visible in 2017 due to favourable lighting conditions provided by the new moon.

What is a Geminid meteor shower?

There will be practically no moon in the sky during the shower.

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Meteors should appear all over the sky, though not all will belong to the Geminid shower.

Ingram urges would-be meteor watchers to get as far away from city lights as possible.

East of Seattle, parking lots and pull-offs along Interstate 90 and frontage roads and in communities like North Bend and Snoqualmie can offer reasonably dark skies, Ingram said.

Like the supermoon, you can watch the meteor shower sans special glasses or a telescope. Then, give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark and start scanning the skies.

Find Orion from its belt and look up and to the left to find Gemini.

If you want to wish upon a star, you may just get your wish ... this week.

Another reason why this shower is the best, at the very least for this year: 3200 Phaeton, the rocky object sometimes called an asteroid from which the Geminid meteors originate, will be even closer to Earth during the shower this year.

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