Annual Gemenid Meteor Shower lights up sky


A number of meteors and fire balls will lit the sultanate's skies and the world in an awesome scene.

South Mississippi could be treated to a dazzling display of shooting stars as the annual Geminid Meteor Shower comes to a peak this week.

According to astrology experts, the best time to view a meteor shower is in the hours just before dawn, so be sure to catch some sleep during the day if you want to stay up all night to see this phenomenon.

"With August's Perseids obscured by bright moonlight, the Geminids will be the best shower this year", said Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in a release. "This year, we have a waning crescent moon - it's smaller and it doesn't rise until 5 a.m".

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Last year, the Geminids had to compete with a pesky supermoon.

Geminids can be seen on nights before and after the December 14 peak, although they will appear less frequently. For those who do not have access to a riverboat, or simply can't get out of a light-polluted area like a densely populated city, it's still possible to see some of the meteorites.

An asteroid-like object called 3200 Phaethon is the source of the debris that becomes Geminids.

"Phaethon's nature is debated", said Cooke.

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The meteor shower, during which bright streaks of light would appear in the north- eastern sky, will begin at 10pm on Wednesday and continue till 2am on Thursday.

As an added bonus this year, astronomers will have a chance to study Phaethon up close in mid-December, when it passes nearest to Earth since its discovery in 1983. Allow your eyes to adjust to the dark, and look up in any direction.

For an early Christmas present, you can't beat the Geminids.

You can also see what the fuss is about from the warmth of the great indoors via NASA's Ustream feed on December 13, as well as the Virtual Telescope Project and Slooh's live feed.

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