Mark Your Calendars for a Superb Geminid Meteor Shower


According to Mr Magro, astronomy, space travel and all things celestial, have become much more concurrent throughout mainstream society and this has spurred on a new interest in night photography. We may still see some of these meteors on neighboring nights, in addition to viewing several attractive pairings of the crescent moon with the planets Jupiter and Mars. The 2017 Geminids meteor shower will soon be heres - no telescope or binoculars required.

Sounds treacherous, particularly when we learn these bad boys are travelling at speeds of up to 100,000 miles per hour. Those that fly through our atmosphere are called meteors, but if they reach the ground they are called meteorites.

The meteor shower appears to come from the Gemini constellation with the streaks caused by tiny dust particles and meteors hitting our atmosphere at tremendous speed and burning up due to friction.

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They are remnants of asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which is believed to have collided with another object to produce the particles that now create the meteor shower. In addition, the brilliant planet Jupiter will be rising in the east around the peak of the Geminids meteor shower and will be visible until dawn.

You're more likely to see the shower if you live on the east coast of the U.S., given the moon is due to rise about 3.30am, with just a sliver (10% or so) illuminated, meaning its brilliance won't outshine (quite literally) that of the shower.

The other reason why this year is astronomically favorable for the see the Geminids is the exact timing of Earth's encounter with the central section of the meteoroid swarm.

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On the night of the December 13 and 14, Perth Observatory will be open from 10:30pm to 2am and stargazers can book to view the Geminids at the Observatory here.

The Geminids meteor shower runs annually from December 7 - 17. Expectant viewers should find a suitable (read: dark) viewing station, and allow at least half an hour to let their eyes adjust, for prime viewing conditions.

If the weather is clear Wednesday night next week, our skies are likely to fill with the greatest number of visible shooting stars we've had in quite a few years.

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The Geminids meteor showers will peak on the evening of December 13 and continue until early morning December 14. The best viewing place (as with any astrological event) will be in the country, away from city light pollution.