Geminid Meteor Shower

Nolen Cooper, Reporter

On the night of December 13, head outside to view the Geminid Meteor shower. The shower will be visible in both hemisphere but the northern hemisphere will have a better view. The Geminids tend to be the strongest, brightest meteor shower of the year, but according to the American Meteor Society, they often lose the meteor shower popularity competition.

“I can’t wait, I’m going to stay up and watch the shower tonight,” sophomore Chelsea Hahn said.

According to Sky & Telescope, the Geminids are set to peak at 7:30 a.m. EST, and should go until dawn of the following day. The darker and clearer the sky the most likely you are to see meteors streaking through the sky at 78,000 miles per hour, but some are bright enough to be seen in unfavorable conditions. When the peak is about to start some faint meteors may also be seen.

“I’ve got my telescope ready for early tomorrow morning, I think everyone should see the meteor shower,” junior Ian Couch said.

The meteors are made of material left behind from asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Once they get to the earth’s atmosphere they burn up leaving light streaks and fireballs in the sky. The particles hit the earth’s atmosphere at 22 miles per second, particles that hit the atmosphere head on shrivel almost instantly, but if they come at an angle they make a streak in the sky.

“I hope that I can see a few, this seems like it will be a great experience,” junior Cameron Fergie said.

To get the best experience possible wear warm clothes and get out 20 minutes early to allow eyes to adjust, and not look at phone or flashlight in the time. The best place to view is somewhere dark that has clear skies. In ideal condition you may be able to see 120 shooting stars per hour at the peak of the shower according to London’s Natural History Museum.