Meteor Showers in December

Meteor Showers in December

A casual observer may watch the sky at night and see 3 to 5 sporadic meteors per hour. However, on some nights, this number may increase markedly, and on projecting the paths of the meteors back, we find that many appear to radiate from a tiny area in the sky. This point or place is termed the radiant of the meteor shower.

Geminid Meteor Shower

The Geminids visible from December 4th to December 20th are considered to be one of the most spectacular meteor shows of the year, with the possibility of seeing around 120 meteors per hour at its peak, which is on December 13 or 14, depending on your time zone.  The waxing gibbous Moon will be a hindrance until after 2 am but from then until dawn the sky will be Moon free.

The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini because the meteors seem to emerge from this constellation in the sky. Whereas most meteor showers are associated with comets this one is associated with an asteroid 3200 Phaethon.

Donna the Astronomer

I am a keen astronomer lucky enough to live and work in Coonabarabran the Astronomy Capital of Australia! I am a ‘Drover’s Brat’ and discoverer of a couple of comets and asteroids. I operate Milroy Observatory and can show you how to best integrate dark sky experiences into your tourism, farm stay or AirBnB business.

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