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
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy Update: Duchess Spotted All Smiles, Sickness Seems Over
- 2014 Meteor Shower: Slooh To Have Live Broadcast Of Orionids Meteor Shower October 21 Peak, NASA Assures Ideal Observing Conditions
- Kate Middleton To Give Birth To A 'Cheerful' Baby, Duchess Not Carrying Twins---Report
- 63-Year-Old Admits He Has Made Love To More Than 700 Cars But Now Remains Faithful To Just One Beetle
- Top Fake News Websites - Be Aware Or Beware
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Chilling: New ISIS Video Addresses Australia; Aussie Teen Delivers Message
- Top 4 Free-To-Download Apps for Fuller iPhone 6, 6 Plus Experience
- Battery Saving Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature Extends The Battery Life Of Your Android Device By 90 Minutes And Displays Orange Bar While Power Saving Mode Is On
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar
- Xiaomi Mi4 And MiPad Prices Likely Slashed, Thanks To Rivals Oppo, OnePlus And Meizu