It is time for the most spectacular meteor shower of the year. The Geminids Meteor Shower 2018 actually began last night (December 13) with as many as 120 meteors an hour shooting towards the Earth, but if you missed it, you have a second chance to watch it tonight (December 14).
Every year since mid-1800s, the 3200 Phaethon asteroid passes by Earth and creates a little magical session for earthly beings with the spectacular Geminids Meteor Shower. Considered to be one of the most visible and most beautiful meteor showers happening each year, the Geminids occurs every December and for 2018, it the starry show started on the night of December 13th. Through midnight last night, the intensity of meteors approaching towards Earth and leaving behind a bright yellowish trail increased to as many as 120 meteor shootings in an hour – promising a handful of visible ones within few minutes.
However, if you missed out the peak time of Geminids Meteor Shower, you can still get to watch it on the night of December 14 as the meteor shower lasts from 50 hours – spread through December 13 to December 15. The event usually starts by 9 to 10 PM (IST), but to watch it at its best, you will need to wait till midnight and it peaks post-midnight till early morning. You will not need any fancy instruments like telescopes or binoculars, and the beautiful celestial event can be enjoyed pretty will with naked eyes. In case you want to enjoy the shooting stars optimally, get away as far as you can from the city lights and smoke.
Once you are at the right place, you can just gaze up and expect to see some long, glowing arcs of white, yellow, blue, green or red streaks in the dark skies of northern hemisphere. These streaks are created when Earth passes through the trails of debris called meteors left by the 3200 Phaethon asteroid. These debris hit the Earth’s atmosphere, the gravity accelerates them to up to 70 km/second speed and the resistance burns them up, producing a fiery trail. It is worth a watch. And to enjoy it at its best, set a reminder to watch the magnificent event at its best on the night of December 13th – every year.