Geminid meteor shower to peak on Dec. 13, 14

Stargazers in Taiwan will have an opportunity on Dec. 13 and 14 to catch the Geminid meteor shower, which is forecast to produce an maximum of about 120 shooting stars per hour, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said Wednesday.

One of the three most prolific meteor showers of the year — along with the Quadrantids in January and the Perseids in August — the Geminids will be most visible at night, it said, adding that the best time to observe the meteor shower is about midnight.

On the two days, a maximum of about 120 meteors will be seen per hour, the museum said. However, because there is a full moon, fewer shooting stars will be visible, due to moonlight glare, it added.

The museum suggested stargazers go to areas where there is relatively little pollution, to increase their chances of seeing as many meteors as possible.

The best locations are mountains with an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level or higher, the museum said.

Originating from an asteroid instead of a comet as is most common, the Geminid meteor shower occurs when the Earth ploughs through the debris from asteroid 3200 Phaethon, according to the museum.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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