Thursday, December 12, 2013

Best meteor shower of 2013 peaks December 14

Source
Stargazers in the Bicol Region are in for a spectacular sky show this week as one of the best meteor showers of the year peaks on December 14.
The meteor shower, which is called Geminids because of the constellation Gemini from which it appears to radiate, will be the last meteor shower of 2013. The meteors will be visible around the stars Castor and Pollux.
This meteor shower is caused by the Earth’s crossing of the path of Asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Said asteroid sheds rocky debris because of the intense heat of the sun that causes bits of it to break. Such bits travel at speeds of around 130,000 kilometers per hour, and are seen from Earth as the Geminid meteors.
One of the most highly-anticipated meteor showers every year because of its bright, highly visible meteors, the Geminids can be seen from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Astronomers caution, however, that this year, the light from the waxing gibbous moon may obscure some meteors. Nonetheless, since the Geminids meteors are typically bright, some of these may still be quite visible.
They recommend for people to watch for these meteors in the hours before dawn on December 13 and 14, as this is when the most meteors can be seen. On the average, 50 to 100 meteors can be seen per hour during the Geminids. It is also advised that observers find a spot where there is little light pollution which may interfere with the view.


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