Meteor shower: it’s time to look up to the sky for the Geminids

This is the perfect time to observe the night sky and be amazed by the shower of shooting stars from the Geminids. This lasts until December 24, peaking on the evening of December 13 and the following morning.

To observe them, you have to look at the constellation Gemini above the horizon to the east. The source of the Geminids appears to be asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which astronomers believe could be an extinct comet or a new type of object called ” rocky comet “.

Debris that has broken off from Phaethon over the years forms clouds of dust denser than those left behind by most comets. This explains why the Geminids are always one of the strongest meteor showers. Every December we pass through the densest part of this cloud and hundreds or thousands of pebble-sized particles burn up as they collide with our upper atmosphere.

To make the most of this cosmic spectacle, the most important thing is to find a place of observation not polluted by light and offering a wide view of the sky, without clouds. If the Moon is up, it is necessary to orient yourself so as to have it at your back as much as possible.

You have to give yourself at least an hour of observation because there are always lulls in the activity. On a peak night, if you are lucky enough to have ideal conditions, you can see up to 150 shooting stars in an hour.

Read also article adapted by CNETFrance

Image: Nasa