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Australia Geminid meteor shower will light up our skies this coming weekend

06:45  11 december  2019
06:45  11 december  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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We are in for a star show this Thursday and Friday around 2 a . m . for the best time to see the sky from your own backyard.

A meteor shower gets its name from the constellation where the shooting stars appear to come from in the night sky — this origination point is However, the Geminid meteor shower is unique in that it happens when Earth moves through a dust cloud left by an object called 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid

A composite of 88 images showing the 2017 Geminids across the Brisbane night sky. (Flickr CC: Paul Balfe)© Provided by ABC NEWS A composite of 88 images showing the 2017 Geminids across the Brisbane night sky. (Flickr CC: Paul Balfe) Nature is putting on a spectacular light show this weekend, and it's definitely worth watching.

The annual Geminid meteor shower has once again returned to our summer skies, and will peak over the weekend.

For Macquarie University astrophysicist Tayyaba Zafar, the Geminids are the kings of meteor showers because they produce the highest number of meteors — otherwise known as 'shooting stars'.

"In their best peak times they produce from 100 to 140 or 150 meteors per hour," Dr Zafar said.

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With Christmas less than two weeks away, your neighborhood is probably aglow with beautiful lights . However they will pale in comparison to nature's own light show , the Geminids . Though this annual celestial display that has been nicknamed the 900-pound gorilla of meteor showers has been visible

Geminids meteor shower 2014[14 photos]. See the spectacular images of shooting stars lighting up the night sky . The peak night of the 2014 Geminid meteor

They're also one of the most colourful, with a range of different hued meteors shooting across the night sky. That's because the Geminids are produced by the dust and debris left behind from an asteroid, and as they burn up in our atmosphere, their colour varies depending on their chemical composition.

Another reason the Geminids are worth the effort is that they're slow-moving, at a relatively sluggish 20 to 30 kilometres per second.

This makes them even more spectacular, said Dr Zafar, because you can see them shoot across the sky for more than a couple of seconds.

How To Watch The Geminid Meteor Shower From Australia This Weekend

  How To Watch The Geminid Meteor Shower From Australia This Weekend If you get excited about shooting stars, you're in for a treat. The famous Geminid meteor shower is due this weekend in Australia and we've wrapped up all the info you'll need to view the phenomenon for yourself. Here are the best times and locations to catch the celestial event with the naked eye. What are the Geminid Meteors? There are a number of meteor showers throughout the year but the Geminid promises to be the best and most visible of the lot. It usually peaks around mid-December every year with up to 120 meteors every year, according to NASA. They're described as being bright, fast and yellow in colour.

The resulting meteor showers can light up night skies from dusk to dawn, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch one. If you spot a meteor Instead, the burning bits come from the previous passes. For example, during the Perseid meteor shower you are seeing meteors ejected from when

One of the best meteor showers will be visible Saturday and Sunday if weather allows. Don't mistake the gleaming streaks of light in the sky this weekend for one of of Santa's practice runs. The Geminid meteors -- debris from the extinct comet known as 3200 Phaethon -- come flying past Earth

Astrophysicist Jonti Horner of the University of Southern Queensland who's been mad about meteor showers since he was a kid growing up in the UK, said the Geminids are his favourite.

They even outrank the other two big annual meteor showers, the Quadrantids and the Perseids, which are both only visible from the Northern Hemisphere.

"They're one of the three best meteor showers of the year, and over the last 20 years or so they've gradually, very slowly, intensified so they're now really … the best of the three," Professor Horner said.

And given it's summer, the Geminids are a great excuse to find some company and a good observing spot, and sit back and wait for them to appear.

"If you've got someone to sit there and talk to, you just sit there looking up at the sky and tell stories and relax and have fun," Professor Horner said.

The Geminids meteor shower peaks this weekend. NASA's solar probe just spotted the giant trail of asteroid dust for the first time ever.

  The Geminids meteor shower peaks this weekend. NASA's solar probe just spotted the giant trail of asteroid dust for the first time ever. The Geminidsmeteor shower, a trail of asteroid dust that Earth passes through each December, peaks on Friday. NASA's record-breaking Parker Solar Probe spotted the dust trail from space for the first time ever. As it circles the sun 21 more times, the probe will help scientists study the unknown structure of the Geminids trail. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The Geminids meteor shower peaks on Friday night, and for the first time ever, a spacecraft has spotted the asteroid dust that makes those shooting stars.

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Must credit: NASA The Geminids meteor shower is visible from Huntsville, Alabama on Thursday, December 14. The celestial spectacle is expected to be the

"It's a really lovely way to spend your time."

So if you want to get your own slice of shooting star viewing, here's our guide to what you need to know.

The Geminids meteor shower peaks this weekend, with hundreds of multicoloured shooting stars. Here's how to spot them.

  The Geminids meteor shower peaks this weekend, with hundreds of multicoloured shooting stars. Here's how to spot them. The Geminids meteor shower peaks on Friday night, sending up to 120 multicoloured meteors across the night sky per hour. Because the moon will be almost full, only the brightest and most colourful meteors will be visible, however. Unlike most meteor showers, which come from comet dust, the Geminids are fragments of an asteroid.Here's how to spot the shooting stars.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.The Geminids meteor shower peaks on Friday night and early Saturday morning, producing up to 120 multicoloured shooting stars per hour.

Only 10-20 nights every year have showers reaching 20 meteors an hour, so the show is still worth braving the December chill, especially since the Geminids are often bright and intensely colored.

The annual Geminid meteor shower will light up the night sky this weekend . Find a dark place, put on warm clothing and enjoy the celestial show . “The nice thing about a meteor shower is that although the meteors appear to come from a particular direction in the sky , in this case the

When can I see the Geminid meteor shower?

The Geminids have been visible in the night sky since December 4 and will be shooting through our heavens until December 17, Dr Zafar said, as the Earth moves through the loop of dust and debris left behind by near-Earth asteroid 3200 Phaethon.

They will be reaching their peak this weekend

So Saturday night and early Sunday morning (December 14 and 15) is the best time to look for them as that's when the most meteors will be streaking across our skies.

If you don't want to stay up all night to see them, Professor Horner recommends getting up early rather than staying up late.

"If people have the freedom to decide whether they observe earlier or observe later, I'd actually say set your alarm for one or two o'clock and stay up until dawn, rather than going out at 9:00pm and staying up until 1:00am."

That's because the maximum numbers of meteors are forecast to be just before dawn on Sunday morning, he said.

For people in states under Australian Eastern Daylight Time the shower will peak around 5:40am (close to dawn); for South Australians it will peak around 5:10am; 4:40am in Queensland; 4:10am in the Northern Territory and 2:40am in Western Australia.

How To Watch The Geminid Meteor Shower Tonight

  How To Watch The Geminid Meteor Shower Tonight Tonight’s nearly full moon is still a visual treat in the night sky, but there’s another light show going on at the same time: the Geminid meteor shower. It’s the second-to-last meteor shower of the year. A full moon can make meteor showers harder to see, but the Geminids tend to have enough larger, brighter meteors that it’s still worth going out to take a look. As the name suggests, the Geminid meteors will appear to come from the area of the constellation Gemini, just above and to the left of Orion.

The annual Geminid meteor shower will light up the night sky this weekend . Find a dark place, put on warm clothing and enjoy the celestial show . “The nice thing about a meteor shower is that although the meteors appear to come from a particular direction in the sky , in this case the

Given that avid sky watchers have always maintained that there is nothing prettier than a close Also if possible, try get away from the well- lit areas and most important of all, don't forget to make a wish or two - They are bound to come true! Geminid Showers Promise A Stellar Show This Week .

However the peak is quite broad, so you should get some spectacular viewing from midnight onwards.

If Saturday night is going to be cloudy where you are, you'll still be able to get fairly good viewing the night before or the night afterwards.

Meteors are best seen with the naked eye, Professor Horner said, because you're looking for things streaking across a large bit of sky rather than zooming in on something in particular.

But, Dr Zafar warned, if you want to catch the full spectacle of the meteor shower at its peak make sure you give your eyes at least 30 minutes to adapt to the darkness, so start observing at least 30 to 40 minutes before that time.

"When you just get out and look at the sky you might see only bright stars," she said.

"By the time your eyes start adapting, you can also start seeing the faint stars which were invisible when you just stepped out."

Unfortunately, the full moon will wash out some of the fainter meteors this weekend, but you should be able to see between 20 to 40 per hour which is still a good number, Dr Zafar said.

Where should I be looking in the sky?

As their name suggests they are called the Geminids because their origin point traces back to the constellation Gemini, in particular to near the bright star Castor.

"These meteors are moving around the Sun together, all in the same direction," Professor Horner said.

"That means they all seem to come from the same point in the night sky, and they spread out because of perspective as they get closer to us."

As long as that point is above the horizon, you should be able to see meteors from the Geminids anywhere in the sky, he said, but the closer to that point the more you'll see.

And the further north in Australia you are, the more meteors you'll see — that's because Gemini is a northern hemisphere constellation.

What about the smoke haze from bushfires?

Any smoke haze from bushfires will have the same effect as a bit of fog on making the meteors harder to see, Professor Horner said.

"You'll lose the fainter [stuff] first, and it just depends how thick the smog is as to how much will be hidden."

Smog will also help the moonlight get scattered more widely, making the full Moon a bit more of a nuisance too, he said.

But he said the Geminids are still worth making the time to look at.

And if after all that you're still not convinced of the benefits of getting up early this weekend, the Geminids will be back, better than ever, next year.

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