The annual Geminid meteor shower has arrived and will peak overnight Dec. 13-14 with rates around one per minute under good conditions, Armenia’s Byurakan Observatory informs.
Geminids can be seen on nights before and after the Dec. 14 peak, although they will appear less frequently.
The shower will be observed in Armenia, Deputy Director of Byurakan Observatory Tigran Maghakyan told Public Radio of Armenia.
He noted that Geminids will be seen anywhere in Armenia where the sky is clear. The shower will continue throughout the night.
Tigran Maghakyan said “it’s a rare phenomenon observed once in ten years.
The Geminids are active every December, when Earth passes through a massive trail of dusty debris shed by a weird, rocky object named 3200 Phaethon. The dust and grit burn up when they run into Earth’s atmosphere in a flurry of “shooting stars.”
Meteor showers are named after the location of the radiant, usually a star or constellation close to where they appear in the night sky. The Geminid radiant is in the constellation Gemini.
The Geminids can be seen with the naked eye under clear, dark skies over most of the world, though the best view is from the Northern Hemisphere. Observers will see fewer Geminids in the Southern Hemisphere, where the radiant doesn’t climb very high over the horizon.