A Sight Not To Be Missed!
As a stargazer enthusiast myself, I’m excited about the two major celestial spectacles we’re about to witness!
Dec 14, we’ll be treated to a double event: the Supermoon and Geminid meteor shower!
The Geminid meteor shower can be seen by the naked eye every year in mid-December (4 to 17).
Now, Earth is so close to the orbit of the Phaethon that a large part of this asteroid’s debris is in the terrestrial atmosphere. As Earth is traveling through this cloud of cosmic debris, meteoroids are fusing at the edge of the atmosphere, turning into radiating and enchanting falling fragments. During the night of Dec 13 to Dec 14, Earth will be at the densest part of Phaethon debris trail; Geminids will reach their peak, rolling over the sky by up to 160 meteors per hour.
However, unlike last year, this time, we may only be able to see the brightest Geminids, because they coincide with the supermoon.
The term Supermoon describes the full moon at its perigee - the point in the orbit of the moon when it is closest to Earth, making it 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter! Although Dec14 Supermoon will be less bright than that of last month. It’ll be no less spectacular.
The dazzling glare of the supermoon will make it hard to spot all meteorites. The good news is that the Geminids are so bright they will be everywhere in the sky, and observable from anywhere.
Tips for better viewing:
- Avoid urban areas.
- Choose a dark spot with open sky.
- Make the moon behind you and look up. (no equipment needed)