Friday, 18 January, 2019

Google dedicates Doodle to Geminids meteor shower which would peak today

Google dedicates Doodle to Geminids meteor shower which would peak today Google dedicates Doodle to Geminids meteor shower which would peak today
Theresa Hayes | 14 December, 2018, 09:44

Stargazers willing to endure December's chill are in for a treat Thursday night into Friday morning: the 2018 Geminid meteor shower, typically one of the best meteor showers of the year, peaks the evening of Dec. 13 and the morning of Dec. 14.

While you're keeping an eye out for the meteor shower, you might see a small, foggy green patch in the sky, NASA said. As winter cold hits much of the Northern Hemisphere, the reliable Geminid meteor shower peaks in the middle of the month, rewarding those willing to bundle up and venture out into the night.

Perhaps the best thing about a meteor shower is you don't need any special gear to see it. This is when they will be high in the sky. The super enthralling phenomenon of shooting stars looks spectacular if one manages to find clear and pollution free sky.

The Geminids meteor shower has a Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) of 120. You'd likely see a few soaring across the sky. The Geminid Meteor Shower a true spectacle and it's going to be at its best, brightest and clearest.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), an average of 40 meteors per hour can be observed during the peak of Geminids meteor shower tomorrow, Friday, December 14 until early Saturday, December 15.

Go outside at night at midnight on December 13-14 and look up, and keep looking, and if there's a clear, dark sky, you will be rewarded with some awesome festive fireballs.

The Geminid shower happens each year at this time, as Earth passes through the huge debris cloud left behind by the object 3200 Phaethon, an odd blue asteroid that may be an extinct comet.

The pieces burn up as they enter our atmosphere creating the bright colours. Those who can should ideally head out away from the suburbs to watch the meteor shower. But it is slated to set about 10 p.m., after which the sky should be the darkest and best time for viewing the light display.

The asteroid 3200 Phaethon orbit is elliptical, and crosses the orbits of Earth and passes close to the sun.

"Virtually all meteors that we see during meteor showers come from comet dust as the Earth crosses the plane of their orbits", said Suresh Sreenivasan, a board member of the Minnesota Astronomical Society.

Stargazers and others willing to courageous the cold Thursday and Friday nights are in for a cosmic treat: the Geminid meteor shower is coming.

The doodle, while not animated, is a super-adorable slideshow that depicts the evolution of the Geminid meteor shower from its parent body, the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, to the incredible celestial event we know today.

As the night will be chilly one, with Berkeley expecting to reach a low of 49 degrees, meteor watchers are encouraged to dress accordingly. Don't use binoculars or a telescope either, that will only decrease your field of vision, whatever it may be.