tech2 News Staff Dec 13, 2018 08:06:17 IST
In a doodle spread out in seven images, Google today is tracking the Phaethon asteroid, which brings the famous Geminid meteor shower to Earth each December. And with each passing year since the mid-1800s, the proliferation of yellowish streaks of light in the night-time sky has grown more intense.
This year, the Geminid Meteor Shower 2018 (which has turned somewhat into an event worldwide) is expected to sparkle the Earth's sky tonight, that is 13 December, at 9 pm IST. The shower, however, will peak after midnight with as many as 120 meteors per hour. There will be no need for a telescope or binoculars, the meteor shower will be visible pretty well with the naked eye.
However, for optimal viewing conditions, get as far away from city lights as possible, face South, and enjoy one of the greatest shows on earth.
The source of the meteor shower is the Phaethon asteroid, which may have crashed with another flying object, but there’s little danger of any Geminids landing on earth as it normally disintegrates in the earth’s atmosphere.
But how does this meteor shower really happen? Google explains in its blog saying, " As Phaethon’s orbit leads it near the sun, the extreme heat causes it to fracture and leaves a trail of debris in its orbital path. Every December, Earth’s orbit leads us through the trail of 3200 Phaethon and its debris crashes into our atmosphere at 79,000 miles (127,000 km) per hour. Once through the Earth’s atmosphere, the Geminids’ radiant (or where it appears to originate) is the constellation Gemini—from which the meteor shower gets its name."
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