The Sciences

Mark Your Calendars for a Superb Geminid Meteor Shower

geminid-shower.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

(Credit: NASA) The stars — or at least the Moon — will align this month for a terrific display of meteors. The Geminid shower ranks as both the richest and most reliable of the annual meteor showers. It peaks the night of December 13/14 under a slim crescent Moon, whose feeble light won’t interfere even after it rises around 3:30 a.m. local time.

With the moon but a slender wisp, conditions could hardly be better for this year’s premier shower. (Credit: Roen Kelly/Astronomy) The meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, which rises around sunset and climbs nearly overhead by 2 a.m. The best views come the morning of the 14th, between roughly midnight and 4 a.m., when observers under a clear, dark sky can expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour. Geminids are the slowpokes of the meteor world. The dust particles hit Earth’s atmosphere at a mere 22 miles per second before friction with air molecules incinerates them, leaving behind a fleeting, incandescent glow. For the rest of December's observing highlights, head to

Astronomy.com

.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Magazine Examples
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.