Geminid meteor shower to peak on Dec 13
Washington – Geminid meteor shower will be at their best after dark on Friday, December 13 and before dawn on Saturday, December 14, according to reports.
The Geminids are one of the most reliable meteor showers. This year, skywatchers can expect to see dozens of meteors per hour. On Friday, the moon will shine directly overhead around 10 p.m. CST, but the brightest meteors still will be visible. Expect to see even more meteors before dawn on Saturday, after the Moon sets around 4:50 a.m. CST.
Geminid meteors appear to fall from near the star Castor, one of the “heads” of the constellation Gemini, the twins.
The meteors are not related to Castor. They are debris from an asteroid called Phaethon. The shower recurs each year when Earth passes through this debris strung along Phaethon’s orbit around the Sun.
The Geminid shower was the first to be linked to an asteroid. Most meteor showers occur when Earth crosses the orbit of a comet. Though the Geminid shower was discovered in the 1860s, it was in 1983 that astronomers identified Phaethon as the shower’s source.
The observation has been published in StarDate magazine.