Astronomers estimate this year’s Giminids Meteor Shower to reach 120-150 shooting stars per hour. That’s 2-3 meteors per minute!
Giminids is the last major meteor shower of the year. It’s really hard to miss because people are starting to feel the spirit of Christmas and a meteor shower is perfect for the occasion.
What’s Special in this Year’s Giminids?
The Giminids Meteor Shower has been steadily increasing in number of shooting stars per hour since it was first discovered in the 1830’s. From a mere 20 meteors per hour, it is now at around 130 meteors per hour.
This year’s meteor shower is also in a very good timing since the moon will not be showing up. Last year’s Giminids was spoiled by the bright moon.
When to Watch the Giminids
The best time to watch the Geminids meteor shower is on Friday, December 14, 2012 at around 1:00-3:00 AM. Yes that’s right, the best time to watch a meteor shower is during day break.
Where to Look
First of all, make sure that you have a dark sky. If you live outside the city, that is great. For those who are in the cities, try finding a place that can give you a dark sky.
At 1:00 AM to 3:00 AM, look directly upwards and try to find the three stars that line up. That is the belt of Orion or also known as the ‘Tres Marias’. Look northward from the three stars and you should find the origin of the shooting stars.
I made a screen shot of that region of the sky using the virtual planetarium software called Stellarium. use this as a guide.
What to Bring
It is better is to watch the meteor shower with some friends or your brothers and sisters. When the shooting stars do not yet fall, the moments of silence will make you talk about your life and your relationship with them. Meteor showers are great bonding strategies for friends and families.
If yo have a binoculars, you also bring that along with you. It will let you see the faint meteors. It is also fun to look at the Milky Way using the binoculars because you will see more stars, even the faint ones.
What to Expect
Expect something good. It’s a free show and you are on for a treat.
Giminids meteors seem to be very bright and slow moving. That means you will see the shooting star that your brother suddenly points out.
They also seem to be yellow in color.
In 2009, I watched the Geminids at around 4:00 AM and I saw very bright shooting stars that seem to leave smoke in their path in the sky. Watch out for them.
Prepare the things you need. Snacks, carpets, reclining seats. Prepare something that will make you comfortable watching the sky.
After the meteor shower, come back here and tell us what you saw.
Happy Meteor Shower Watching!