Huge Geminid meteor shower fireball caught on police dashcam

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 15, 2018

The Geminids will increase to a maximum of 100 per hour around 2 a.m., according to NASA. Geminid meteors are going to light up the night sky, and it's free cosmic fireworks for one and all!

NASA astronomer Bill Cooke told USA Today that the Geminids used to peak at just 30 meteors per hour, but Jupiter's gravity has brought the shower closer to our planet, increasing the rate of shooting stars.

All you need is to find a dark patch of sky (relatively free from clouds) and a rural area with less light pollution. They travel at a rate of 22 miles per second. In previous years, some 120 meteors have been spotted per hour in a dazzling Christmassy display.

Head for dark, clear skies tonight-overnight December 13-14-to see the shooting stars of the Geminid meteor shower overhead. Wait until the moon sets, around 10:30 p.m. local time, then let your eyes adjust for about 30 minutes-sans smartphone, too.

Unlike most meteor showers, which are usually caused by the remnants of comets, this shower is caused by asteroids.

Phaethon orbits the sun closer than any other asteroid and takes 1.4 years to orbit it.

It's possible to see, on average, two meteors a minute if there is a dark, cloudless sky and you look to where the Geminids originate. "You'll also be looking at the constellation of Gemini while you're looking that direction", Jones said, noting that's how the Geminid meteor shower got its name.

"Meteor shower last night and tonight".

The 3200 Phaethon may have collided with another object in the distant past, which produced the stream of particles that hurdle across earth's atmosphere and created a meteor shower. Light from the moon makes it harder to see some fainter meteors, so it's best to wait until it sets to head outside.

And while the Northern Hemisphere will get the best views, people in Europe and Africa will be able to catch a glimpse just before and after its peak. The closely tracked near-Earth asteroid has been likened to comets, so it's been called a "rock comet".

The Geminids, however are the result of debris left behind by 3200 Phaethon, an Earth-crossing asteroid.

If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a place that isn't littered with city lights that will obstruct your view.

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