Geminid meteor shower, one of the year's best to watch

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If you don't catch this particular meteor shower Thursday night, you might have to wait a year until it returns.

For those who miss tonight's meteor shower, Filippenko said the Geminids will continue Friday evening "but there won't be as many meteors". Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look straight up. "But the Geminids have been fairly reliable over the years". As per a famous space website, these Geminids encounter Earth at around 35 km/second. As Earth traverses through the area every year in mid-December, the particles collide with the outer atmosphere and burn, transforming into gorgeous "shooting stars".

When can this be seen? .

The Geminid meteor shower, considered to be one of the brightest displays in the night sky, is active now and all set to light up the sky till early hours of Friday. It also says that people in suburbs or the countryside are likely to spot more meteors than stargazers in cities because of light pollution. That's because, from our vantage point on the ground, the meteors seem to move more quickly as the Earth turns towards Gemini; during the earlier hours of the night, the meteors will appear longer and more sluggish.

The Geminid meteor shower peaks this week, so hope for clear skies that will let you see a attractive show of green fireballs on Thursday and Friday. But they actually are thought to come from 3200 Phaethon, a space rock that shares characteristics similar to both a comet and an asteroid. That will be Comet 46P/Wirtanen, which is making its closest approach to Earth - within 7 million miles - for the next 20 years. The Geminid Meteor Shower a true spectacle and it's going to be at its best, brightest and clearest.

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Although the Geminid shower is known for its "shooting stars", the number of meteors visible depends on the time and how dark it is.

Every December, we receive a gift from the skies called the Geminid meteor shower.

While it may appear as though the Geminids originate from the constellation they get their name from, they should be visible across the sky, according to NASA.

They flash through the sky quickly, but at 2am when the shower is the most intense they will do so at a rate of around two meteors per minute. "The easiest way to do this is to lie flat on your back, in lounge/lawn chair for example".

While classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid, Phaeton is expected to keep a safe distance from Earth for at least the next 400 years, according to Sky and Telescope magazine.

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