The Doodle on Thursday follows the Geminids' path through Earth's atmosphere as it lights up the sky through a slideshow. While this celestial event is a regular highlight of the meteor year, occurring every December, 2018's shower is poised to be particularly special. The asteroid named after Greek God Apollo's son, 3200 Phaethon's orbit brings it closer to our sun than Mercury. The first recorded observation was from a riverboat on the Mississippi River in 1833, and it's got more intense each year since.
In the hours before sunrise Friday, the most meteors will be visible in the North American sky, peaking about 7:30 a.m. ET, predicts Sky & Telescope. It is more likely people will see meteors on their way to evening work, or end of night shifts, midnight into the small hours. you should also be able to see Mars in the early evening sky just above the moon and left in the southern sky. "Do not look at Gemini as meteors closer to the radiant are less impressive, with shorter trains". But Bill Cooke, a meteor expert at NASA, told Space.com that the best time to catch the show will be 2 a.m. Unlike other meteor showers, it's unclear where the debris is actually trailing from.
Any stray light in the sky tends to drown out fainter meteors, so find an observing site far from city lights.
The reports came from more rural and dark locations - away from the District's light pollution - which always make the best place to view meteor showers.
"Predicting how good any meteor shower will turn out to be is extremely tricky, and I wouldn't venture towards making any prediction", Maitra said.
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Clear skies, unfortunately, have been something of a rarity, but if stargazing is your thing, keep your fingers crossed for clear conditions later this week because the skies are going to light up with the biggest meteor shower of the year.
The early morning hours are considered best because that is when Gemini, and its bright stars Castor and Pollux, is highest in the sky.
No. The shower is completely visible to the naked eye.
The green-coloured comet will be at its brightest between December 14 and 18. And give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness - without looking at your phone - so meteors are easier to spot.