Geminid Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch Showers Live and Online in Peak Time
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | December 13, 2012 11:35 PM EST
The Geminid meteor shower, the last major such event of 2012, could well become one of the most brilliant of the year. The showers are expected to peak between 13 December and 14 December. The meteor stream is named for the pieces of debris, NASA informs us, from an object called 3200 Phaethon.
Unfortunately, Phaethon itself is a bit of a mystery artefact and contemporary speculation oscillates between it being either an asteroid or an extinct comet, depending on either levels of brightness or orbit.
"Geminids can appear anywhere in the sky. Small ones appear as tiny, quick streaks. Occasional brighter ones may sail across the heavens for several seconds and leave a brief train of glowing smoke," Sky & Telescope magazine writes, adding, "If you trace each meteor's direction of flight backward far enough across the sky, you'll find that this imaginary line crosses a spot in Gemini near Castor and Pollux. Gemini is in the eastern sky during evening and high overhead in the hours after midnight (for sky watchers at north temperate latitudes)."
The showers were first noticed in the 1830s, with reports, at the time, listing about 20 sightings per hour. Today, however, it is possible to see as many as 120 meteors per hour. What's more... unlike Perseid or Leonid showers, the Geminids are actually quite colourful and do sometimes appear as yellow, red, green or even blue. In fact, given the right conditions, about one in four meteors appear yellow.
When to Watch Live
EarthSky reports 2012 is likely to be a favourable year to watch the Geminids because there will be no moon in the sky, meaning the light from the meteors will likely be at its maximum. The report further adds that viewers should begin watching for meteors from around 9 pm to 10 pm (local time, wherever you may be) but also warns that the absolute best time to watch for Geminids will likely be between 1 am to 3 am (local time, wherever you may be).
Viewers should also be warned the Geminids tend to be most visible from the Northern Hemisphere. Those south of the Equator may still be able to see some meteors though.
Where to Watch Live
If you are unable to watch the showers outdoors, NASA offers live streaming video. The space organisation's light-activated camera, situated at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama will switch on at sunset on both dates.
Here are some to watch the Geminid meteor showers:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Celebrities Who Were Victims of Rape: Psychological and Physical Effects of Rape
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Kanye West, Ben Affleck, Serena Williams Are Victims Of Migraines: Ways To Tackle It
- Men’s Tennis’ Grand Slam Winners Of 2014 – Wawrinka, Nadal, Djokovic, and Cilic
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy Sickness: Prince Harry Cancels His 30th Birthday Party, Opts For Simple Gathering
- Afghan Pizza Man Shot Dead in Canada
- At What Age Do Boys And Girls Look Best To Each Other?
- Rare Blue Flawless Diamond, Costing $25.6 Million, Is The Newest Attraction At The Natural History Museum
- Man Prosecuted For Sexting Messages To 9 Women
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8: Performance, CPU and Health
- Google Android Lion vs Apple iOS 8: Why Make the Big Switch
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. OnePlus One – Can The Underdog Trump The Monster?
- iPhone 6 And IPhone 6 Plus Sold Out, New Stocks To Arrive In October
- iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Shipping Has Begun, Expected To Reach Customers’ Doorstep On Sept 19 Launch Date
- Australia's Imam Council Rebuffs Abbott Decision To Send Troops; Wants 'Islamic' Dropped From ISIS
- Moto G (Gen 2) vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S—Specifications, Features And Price Showdown