Published: Tue, December 12, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

The earth will be covered with a bright meteor shower

The earth will be covered with a bright meteor shower

The Geminids Meteor Shower begins this evening and will reach its peak tomorrow night (December 13) and early on Thursday morning.

Known as 3200 Phaethon, the three-mile-wide object was discovered in 1983 by two British scientists examining Nasa satellite images and initially classified as an asteroid.

Although the Geminids occur every year, Phaeton's path takes it unusually close to Earth this month. What really makes this meteor shower so handsome to witness is its comet-like orbit along with the presence of shooting stars.

Folks willing to endure some cold and stay up past their bedtimes are about to be treated to the annual Geminid meteor shower this week, which is expected to one of the best of the year. The Moon will be a barely-there waning crescent. The dust and grit burn up when they run into Earth's atmosphere in a flurry of "shooting stars".

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According to Cooke, "Phaethon's nature is debated, it's either a near-Earth asteroid or an extinct comet, sometimes called a rock comet".

The Geminids are named for the constellation Gemini, the point from which the meteors seem to radiate. In the southern hemisphere, you will have a subdued but still handsome show because Gemini doesn't rise very high above the local horizon. The best view of the shower can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

If you can't get away from light pollution, don't worry: You'll still be able to see meteors, just at a slower rate.

"The meteor shower activity varies from year to year, and it is often a complicated matter to predict how lovely a shower will be".

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The meteors could appear anywhere in the sky, since the entire planet will be passing through the cloud, Vandernoot said, although the best place to look will be to the northeast.

Like the supermoon, you can watch the meteor shower sans special glasses or a telescope.

The observatory at the Telus World of Science will be open for people wishing to view the Geminid shower on Wednesday and Thursday from 7 10 p.m., weather permitting.

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