Don’t miss the 2014 Geminids Meteor Shower!

Taken from TimeandDate.com

 

In 2014, the Geminids will peak between December 13 and 14 in 2014. A 3rd quarter Moon may make it too bright for observers to view the shower.

Illustration image
A Geminid meteor in 2012.
©iStockphoto.com

Northern Hemisphere observers should try their luck right after dark, while those in the Southern Hemisphere should try to catch the shower after midnight.

The Geminids can be annually observed between December 4 and December 17, with its peak activity being around December 14. The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini from where the meteors seem to emerge from in the sky.

Unlike most other meteor showers, the Geminids are associated not with a comet but with an asteroid – the 3200 Phaethon. The asteroid takes about 1.4 years to orbit around the Sun.

The Geminids are considered to be one of the more spectacular meteor shower during a year, with the possibility of sighting around 120 meteors per hour at its peak.

Where to view the Geminids

The Geminids can be observed from locations all around the world.

While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower – just lay down on the ground and look directly above and you are bound to see some meteors – astronomers suggest looking towards the south to view the Geminids.

When to view the Geminids

The best time to view the Geminids between 9 p.m. (21:00) local time and before dusk.

Location in the sky

Geminids meteor shower for Nicosia (Night between 11 Dec and 12 Dec)
Time Azimuth/
Direction
Altitude
Thu 19:00 57°East-northeast 8.7°
Thu 20:00 64°East-northeast 19.3°
Thu 21:00 70°East-northeast 30.6°
Thu 22:00 76°East-northeast 42.4°
Thu 23:00 83°East 54.4°
Fri 00:00 90°East 66.7°
Fri 01:00 103°East-southeast 78.9°
Fri 02:00 211°South-southwest 86.3°
Fri 03:00 262°West 75.3°
Fri 04:00 273°West 63.0°
Fri 05:00 279°West 50.8°
Fri 06:00 285°West-northwest 38.8°

Direction to see the Geminids in the sky:

  • Azimuth is the direction, based on true north, a compass might show a slightly different value.
  • Altitude is height in degrees over horizon.

How to view the Geminids

There isn’t a lot of skill involved in watching a meteor shower. Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for the Geminids:

  • Get out of the city to a place where city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you – viewing meteors, just like any other kind of star gazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can’t see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.
  • Check the weather and moonrise and moonset timings for your location before you leave, and plan your viewing around it.

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