As the 2013 Geminid Meteor Shower is set to peak on Dec 13 to 14, a thrilling and festive sky show is expected to happen with the meteor shower intensifying the deeper the night goes. The Earth Sky Web site said that no matter where your location is, it will surely fall in great numbers after 12 midnight on the mentioned dates.
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It may favour the Northern Hemisphere but can certainly be viewed too from the southern side. To better prepare you for the sky show that will end 2013 with a bang, here are top 6 things you should know about the 2013 Geminid Meteor shower.
1. The moonlight can somehow dampen the meteor display.
Due to the bright gibbous moon this year, it can surely be a factor to consider in viewing the display. However, the good news is that there will still be a good number of the yellow Geminid meteors that are bright enough to still let everyone enjoy the show.
2. How these meteors got their name to be Geminids
The path of these meteors can be traced back radiating from the Gemini constellation, and hence its name. There is no need to spot the constellation just to catch the Geminid meteor shower display. The meteors are sure to streak the night sky in medium speed in various directions.
3. So how to find the Gemini?
The planet Jupiter dazzles in front of the Gemini constellation. If you have been viewing the planet Venus in the southwestern sky right after sunset, then search for the Gemini stars and Jupiter to rise above the sky just in the opposite direction.
4. Catch an earthgrazer during the earlier parts of the evening.
The earthgrazer is a meteor that lasts long due to its slow movement and travels in a horizontal direction across the sky. So right before the Geminid meteors shower the sky, the early evening hours is the perfect chance to check out this meteor.
5. So what makes the Geminid meteor shower to happen?
Each year during the month of December, Earth crosses the path of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon which is considered as a rock comet. Its debris crumbles to the upper atmosphere portion of the Earth and vaporises as the colourful meteors of Geminid.
6. How to best watch the 2013 Geminid Meteor shower
The best thing about watching the display is that you do not need any special equipment. You just have to stay away from artificial lights and watch the sky for at least an hour while sitting or lying down. The meteors are sure to come in spurts.
There will be about 100 to 120 meteors expected each hour to shower during its peak time, ABC News reports.