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UK News Geminids 2017: How To Watch One Of The Year's Best Meteor Showers In The UK

17:30  12 december  2017
17:30  12 december  2017 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

Geminid meteor shower set to be most dazzling yet

  Geminid meteor shower set to be most dazzling yet An annual meteor shower is expected to be more dazzling than ever as a lack of moonlight in the UK helps the shooting stars shine brighter. The Geminid meteor shower, which returns every year, will appear brighter than usual because it won't be fighting the moonlight.Those will to brave the cold will be treated to a dazzling display best seen between 1 and 2am on Thursday.Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: "Weather permitting, it could be one of the best displays we've had for a long time. The last one like this was in 2014, when there was very little moon.

Geminids : One Of The Year ' s Best Meteor Showers Is Happening Tomorrow. Related The 2017 Perseid Meteor Shower Produced Some Absolutely Stunning Pictures. A Dazzling Meteor Turned Night Into Day Over The US.

How to Watch the Geminids , "King of the Meteor Showers ," This Week. You might see two meteors a minute. One of the best meteor showers of the year will streak across the sky this Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

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One of the best meteor showers of the year will peak on Wednesday night, dazzling onlookers with up to 120 meteors an hour. “The Geminids are expected to be the most active meteor shower of 2017 and often are bright and intensely colored,” AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said.

Sky & Telescope predicts that the two best meteor showers in 2017 will be the Quadrantids in early January and the Geminids in mid-December. If you watch the starry night sky from a dark location, a few times every hour you'll see brief streaks of light from meteors , sometimes called "shooting stars."

For stargazers and the general public, the Geminid meteor shower is important for being not only the last major meteor shower of the year but also one of the most impressive.


With slower moving meteors composed of hard asteroid rock these shooting stars are brighter than most and can last for well over a second as they streak across the night sky.

a star in the sky © Provided by Huffington Post

What is the Geminid meteor shower?

The Geminids takes place every year and usually occurs around the middle of December.


Taking its name from the region in the sky where it usually appears (Gemini constellation) the Geminids are renowned for being some of the brightest and most active in the stargazing calendar.

Stargazers can expect anywhere between 60-120 shooting stars an hour which is considerably more than say the Leonids shower which saw just 15-20 shooting stars an hour last month.

  Geminids 2017: How To Watch One Of The Year's Best Meteor Showers In The UK © Provided by Huffington Post

What sets the Geminids apart from other meteor showers is their point of origin. While most come from meteors, the Geminids originate from an asteroid which makes the material entering the atmosphere hard and gritty.

As such it takes longer to burn up and will burn up much brighter, effectively guaranteeing a good view.

When is the Geminid meteor shower?

While the shower carries on throughout the month of December, it will reach its visual peak between the 13th and 14th of December.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich states that you can technically start watching the shower as soon as the sun has set on the 13th, however the shower is expected to reach its peak in the early hours of the 14th December.

You don’t need any special viewing equipment instead you’ll just need a clear sky, some warm clothes and a lot of patience.

a star in the sky © Barcroft via Getty Images

What will the weather be like?

Now for the bad news. The weather forecast for the next few days is not great with rain expected across much of the UK on Wednesday evening.


Things do improve in the early hours of the morning which could mean that you have a perfect window within which to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon without getting completely soaked.

To find out for sure though, check out the Met office forecast to see what the weather will be like in your local area.

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