When it reaches its best viewing window this week, one of the most frequent and visually stunning yearly meteor showers will be visible to stargazers.

NASA predicts that the Geminid meteor shower will peak Wednesday night into Thursday. Up to 120 shooting stars an hour, travelling at a speed of roughly 22 miles per second, can be produced by this phenomenon; many of the stars are much brighter than those seen during other annual showers.

“The Geminids appear with a greenish hue, whereas most meteors appear to be colorless or white,” NASA astronomer Bill Cooke stated in a statement posted on the organization’s website. “They’re pretty meteors!”

The Geminids will continue to be active through Christmas Eve, having begun on November 19. According to the astronomy website EarthSky, this year’s moon pattern will result in a primarily dark sky during the peak, making for an ideal viewing experience.

When will the Geminid meteor shower occur? Looking up at the sky will reveal the Geminid shower, which is visible to everyone, unlike other showers that have a set path. NASA stated that the meteors typically start at 9 or 10 p.m., making it the perfect time for younger viewers. However, EarthSky indicates that the best time to view is on Thursday at 2 a.m. across all time zones.

EarthSky suggests that those who are interested in meteors go somewhere with a “dark, open sky,” lie back, and look up. Experts estimate that it will take the eyes of viewers roughly twenty minutes to get used to the dark.

Previous showers: Mid-Atlantic and New Jersey see meteors light up the sky. Look it over NASA states that the source of the Geminid meteor shower is an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, in contrast to most meteor showers that stem from comets. Named after a figure from Greek mythology who drove a chariot close to the sun, Phaethon was discovered in 1983 and bears resemblance to the asteroid’s path.

After forty years since its discovery, scientists are still at a loss as to what to call Phaethon. NASA claims that although its orbit is more like that of a comet than an asteroid, it does not grow a cometary tail. Furthermore, compared to comet flakes from other sources, the fragments that break off to form Geminid meteors are significantly denser.

By newsparviews.com

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