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Business News/ Science / News/  Geminids meteor shower 2023 to peak tonight. How and when to watch the celestial show
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Geminids meteor shower 2023 to peak tonight. How and when to watch the celestial show

Geminids Meteor Shower 2023: The Geminids meteor showers, famous for multicoloured sparks of light across the sky, are set to peak on Thursday night. Astronomers are estimating that up to 150 meteors per hour can be seen in India during the peak hours

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Geminids meteor shower 2023

Geminids Meteor Shower 2023: The Geminids meteor shower, famous for multicoloured sparks of light across the sky, are set to peak on Thursday night. Visible around the world, the showers can be seen with the naked eye if the sky isn't too cloudy. Astronomers are estimating that up to 150 meteors per hour can be seen in India during the peak hours.

Geminids got their name from the Gemini constellation as they appear to originate from the same. Though most of the meteor showers are associated with a comet, the Geminids are linked with an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. Nasa considers them as one of the "best and most reliable annual meteor showers" of the year.

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What causes these showers?

Astronomers believe that when our Earth passes through trails of debris from comets or asteroids meteors are formed. When this debris hits Earth's atmosphere, it burns up and creates spectacular streaks of light.

The Geminids are triggered by celestial debris left behind by a rocky asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon.

According to Nasa Geminids are unique because they appear with a greenish hue, unlike other meteors, which appear to be colourless or white.

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Bill Cooke, lead at NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Alabama said the chemical composition of a meteor determines what colour it will emit or produce when it will hit the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up. Green colour is produced when elements such as oxygen, magnesium, and nickel are burnt.

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich says the colours include white, yellow, green, red and blue. The colours are partly caused by the presence of traces of metals like sodium and calcium in the debris.

Geminids meteor shower 2023: When to watch the meteor shower

The Geminidsmeteor shower will start getting visible in India around 5.30 PM IST on Thursday, December 14, which is when its radiant points will rise above the eastern horizon. The meteor shower would be visible till dawn breaks around 7.30 am till the next day. The last viewing opportunity is on December 17.

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Geminids meteor shower 2023: How to watch the meteor shower

According to space scientists one must go to an open field in the suburbs, where light pollution is minimal to watch the Geminids. The darker the sky above the field is, the better the view of the meteor shower will be. To watch the Geminids meteor showers sit on the ground and stare at the open sky for about 15-20 minutes to adjust your eyes to the darkness and then enjoy the cosmic wonders.

One can also watch the Geminids meteor shower online on the official YouTube channel of the Virtual Telescope Project.

The Geminids travel at speeds over 1,25,528 km/hour, which is 40 times faster than a speeding bullet.

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Published: 14 Dec 2023, 08:21 PM IST
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