Geminids. The peak is coming soon: 150 shooting stars per hour are expected

150 shooting stars per hour are expected under Geminid Peak. (©H/W / Adobe Stock)

This Tuesday evening we must raise our eyes to heaven. Since November 24, a shower of shooting stars has lit up the sky every night. And on the night between Tuesday 13 December and Wednesday 14 December 2022, the peak is reached. It’s about Geminids.

What are the Geminids?

Like the Perseids and Orionids that return each year in August and October, it is a shower of dust particles.

“The latter, annuals, probably come from” 3200 Phaethon »a group of asteroids which also distinguishes the Perseids from other shooting stars because these come from comets”, as explained by Gilles Dawidowicz, vice-president of the Astronomical Society of France and president of the Planetology Commission, contacted by news.fr.

What show should we expect?

We are talking about 150 shooting stars per hour below the top. “4% of them will leave a trace. They can be very bright or persistent. Some will remain visible for more than a second,” he insists.

And that’s not all: “by entering the atmosphere at 35 km/second, they could get a colored hue”, explains Gilles Dawidowicz.

According to him, they will be “mostly light yellow”, but they can get another pastel color. “This coloring is due to their composition”, explains the deputy chairman.

How do you see these shooting stars?

They come from the constellation Gemini, so it will take look east.

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To see them well, the same advice as usual:

  • Place yourself as far away from light pollution.
  • Try not to stare too much at the moon, which will be very large, because it was full six days ago.
  • Give her eyes time to adjust to the dark

At the moment, cloudy weather is reported, even snowfall overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday. So all that’s left is to cross your fingers that it gets discovered a bit.

Is there anything else to see in the sky right now?

In addition to the spectacle promised by the Geminids, another element could attract your attention in the dark of night. It’s a yellowish point, due east. It’s March.

“We are in a period called the opposition. To put it simply, Mars is close enough to be seen with the naked eye,” recalls Gilles Dawidowicz. This also gave rise to an eclipse of the red planet behind the moon.

You will therefore have understood it to take full eyes, lift them and direct them to the east!

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