One of the most captivating celestial events – a meteor shower – is set to light up the sky this coming week, and no binoculars or telescopes are required to view it.
“On the night of Dec. 13 or 14, one of the best displays will play out in the skies above. This is the annual Geminid meteor shower and is named because its radiant origin appears to come from a specific point in the constellation Gemini,” said Gary Boyle, also known as the "Backyard Astronomer."
This particular shower is known to produce a consistent 120 graceful meteors per hour and there will even be a few bright fireballs, according to Boyle.
“Their slow speed of 36 kilometres per second will add to the beauty of the sky show. Even though the moon will be about 77 per cent lit we should still see a high number of meteors vaporize in the atmosphere,” he explained.
It can be viewed throughout the night but one of the best times to see it will be after 3 am when the moon has set and the shower is at its peak.
"But if that is too late for you, anytime would be good to witness a few unforgettable bright meteors," Boyle said.
All meteor showers are best seen from dark skies with a good horizon void of trees.
Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker and monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He has been interviewed on more than 50 Canadian radio stations as well as television across Canada and the US In recognition of his public outreach in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has honoured him with the naming of. Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Twitter: @astroeducator or his website: www.wondersofastronomy.com