Watch The Sky Light Up Tonight ,Thanks To Geminid Meteor Shower
December 13th, 2018 / 6:26 PM
Today’s Google Doodle encapsulates the story of the Geminid meteor shower that is anticipated to fly across the sky tonight. The doodle comprises seven slides to explain the manner in which the meteor shower is brought to the earth’s atmosphere with the help of asteroid called Phaethon. These animated images describe that Geminid meteor shower will sparkle the night sky of December 13.
What is Phaethon asteroid?
The Phaethon asteroid that brings the meteor shower was discovered 35 years ago by the satellite data. According to The Indian Express, the advance of yellowish light streaks grows intense in the night sky. The 3200 Phaethon asteroid sometimes behave like a comet as it is rocky, small and 3 miles wide and forms a tail. The debris crashes into our atmosphere at a speed of 127,000 km per hour.
At times the asteroid is known by the name “rock comet “while the asteroid is passing across the earth atmosphere its leaves behind a trail of debris that will be flying to earth on Thursday and increasing the night sky.
Know more about Geminid meteor shower
According to NASA, Geminids are active every December and as termed as the most reliable meteor shower of the year. Usually, these comets which contain enormous chunks of pieces of ice come close to the sun. With the help of sun’s radiation, the ice melts the dust and the rocks leaving behind along the orbit of the comet.
The particles burn due to friction in the atmosphere giving rise to single bright streak in the sky with numerous meteors called as meteor showers. This time one can view the meteor shower after 9 pm as the Phaethon debris will be visible after midnight. However, there is a slight threat of Geminids landing on earth as it would generally shatter in earth atmosphere.
For optimal viewing conditions, one should go away from the city and face south to really witness the beauty in all its glory. A telescope or binoculars are not necessary to see the meteor shower. Reportedly, peak visibility of the meteor shower will be witnessed on the intervening night between December 14 and 15, a little past midnight.
Written by : Sahana S (Student, IIJNM)
Edited by : Sromona Bhattacharyya