Geminid meteor shower, one of the year's best to watch

Star attraction How to catch the biggest meteor shower of the year

Space fans are in for a treat this weekend, as the last meteor shower of the year will be visible across Dubai skies - and it's considered one of the most spectacular showers of the year. Although the showers should be visible to naked eyes after 9 pm on Thursday, they are likely to peak after midnight with as many as 120 meteors per hour and the best time will be 2 am tonight. Phaethon is a rare blue comet which measures three miles across and orbits around the Sun every 1.4 years. The bright white light makes it hard for your eyes to adjust to the darkness and you'll miss out on faint meteors. "If you're lucky, you'll see perhaps 60 meteors in an hour, which is one meteor per minute", but "30 to 40 per hour is much more realistic", he said.

The Geminid meteor shower will be visible from most parts of the world, but those in the Northern hemisphere will get the best show.

If you don't catch this particular meteor shower Thursday night, you might have to wait a year until it returns. Just look up and you should see some streaking across the sky.

Named after the constellation Gemini they appear to radiate from, the Geminids are also unique in another aspect.

You do not need any equipment to see the Geminids, just a clear dark sky. Meteors also come in spurts, so give yourself at least an hour of viewing time, if possible. That means that the best times to watch are when it's dark in your local time zone surrounding that peak, such as just before dawn on December 14.

Luckily for us, most of these meteoroids are smaller than a grain of sand, meaning they will usually burn up and disintegrate before they reach the Earth's surface.

Watch the Slooh Geminid meteor shower stream here.


"Predicting how good any meteor shower will turn out to be is extremely tricky, and I wouldn't venture towards making any prediction", Maitra said.

The best way to view the Geminid meteor shower in India is to move away from polluted areas in the cities to lesser polluted areas, and, ideally, with a clear dark sky at night.

What is the Geminid meteor shower?

According to Dark Sky Discovery, the United Kingdom has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe, meaning our chances of observing the Geminids in their full glory are high.

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