If you are a fan starsYou’ll have fun this weekend, as the “Best Meteor Shower of the Year” is set to reach its climax.
The Geminids meteor shower occurs every December as the Earth passes through an enormous path of dusty debris through a rocky body called 3200 Phaethon.
And at its peak, there could be up to one or two meteors each hour, so there’s a good chance you’ll see one.
The best part about Geminids is that you can see it with the naked eye, so there is no need for an expensive telescope or camera to enjoy it.
Speaking to Belfast Life, Terry Moseley of the Irish Astronomical Society revealed the best time to see a meteor star this weekend.
He said, “They are the richest and best meteor showers in the year, meaning that the number of meteors per hour exceeds any other shower.”
“ The other good thing about this particular show is that you get more dark hours than at any other time of the year.
“Anyone will be able to see them from around 9 pm until first dawn the next morning.”
Terry said people should prepare properly if they are planning to spend Saturday and Sunday nights outdoors.
“It can get very cold at this time of the year, so if you are out for observation, you should wrap up warm and protect yourself from the elements.”
“If the sky is clear, the meteorites seem to come from the eastern point in the early evening before moving towards a more western location towards the early morning.
“ But it doesn’t really matter where you choose to search because they’re so repetitive that you can easily spot the one who usually radiates from the constellation of Gemini.
“People should direct their eyes to the brightest and darkest area in their surroundings.
“The best thing people can do if they want to see meteor showers with the best view is to get away from a big city or town. Get away from street lights to a place that’s dark enough.”
And the US space agency (NASA) said the event was one of the most reliable annual meteor showers this year.
They said, “Gemini produces a large number of meteors in most years, but they are getting better this year as the peak shower almost coincides with a new moon. (This makes the sky darker, with no moonlight to interfere with the dim light. Meteors.)
The Geminids peak overnight on December 13 until the morning of the fourteenth, with some meteor activity visible in the days before and after. Viewing is good all night long in the Northern Hemisphere, with activity peaking around 2 a.m. local time, and after midnight viewers in Southern Hemisphere.
For the best viewing, find a safe location away from the bright city lights, lie on the ground with your feet pointing south and look up.
“Meteors can appear in any part of the sky, although they will appear to radiate near the constellation Gemini. So I wish you a clear sky to catch some falling stars.”
And if you miss the Geminids, you’ll have another chance to see shooting stars in December, thanks to the Ursids Meteor Shower.
This shower will peak on the evening of December 21st, at which point there will be around 5-10 meteors per hour.