Wednesday, December 12, 2018

[Science News] Tips for meteor shower watcher.

Google doodle explains formation of Geminids meteor shower

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Dec 13, 2018, 08.44 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Google has dedicated a doodle to a burst of Geminids meteor shower expected to dart across the sky tonight.

The doodle consists of a series of seven animated images explaining the phenomenon of Geminids meteor shower.

The Geminids meteor shower has been active all week but will peak tonight when 20 times more shooting stars than normal will be visible.

David Moore of Astronomy Ireland said: "Even city dwellers could see a shooting star every couple of minutes.

"Those in dark rural skies could see more than one every minute," he said.

The Geminids are meteor shower active every December, when Earth passes through a massive trail of dusty debris by 3200 Phaethon, "a weird, rocky object", according to NASA.

The meteor shower is a consequence of the dust and grit burning up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere.

Scientists are not sure of the very nature of Phaethon. Some believe it to be a near-Earth asteroid, while the others attribute it to an extinct comet, sometimes also called a rock comet.

Tips for meteor shower watcher

Find the darkest place in your area and give your eyes 30 minutes to adapt to the dark.

Avoid looking at your mobile phone as it is likely to tamper with your night vision.

Lie flat on your back and look straight up, taking as much sky as possible.

Soon, you shall be able to see the Geminids meteor shower.

With the passage of time, the meteor shower will increase, hitting a rate of about 100 per hour around 2 am.

Unfortunately, those in cities, including suburbs, are unlikely to witness this spectacular marvel due to pollution and excess of lights.

Dark and clear skies are necessary to observe the Geminids meteor shower.

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