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
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- Japanese Whalers End Pacific Hunt with 115 Whales Dead and No Disruption from Sea Shepherd
- Viral Video Cyring Sadie: 5-Year-Old Little Girl Does Not Want Her Baby Brother to Grow Up [WATCH VIDEO]
- New Zealand Drafts IWC Resolution to Stop Japanese Whalers from Hunting in 2015
- 'Watch the MH17 Plane Missile Hit Video Tape in Mobile' Goes Viral on Facebook
- Pacific Islands Forum Delegates Appeal for Changes to Climate Policies, Better Marine Life Protection
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Alpha Leaks Online: Release Date, Five Features to Wait for New Smart Phone
- Photos of Motorola Moto X+1 Prototype and Specs Leak Online, Release Date, Four Fresh Features Revealed
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- Sony Xperia Z3: Release Date, Five Features to Expect from New Android Smart Phone
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: Schedule and How to Install
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date