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Finest meteor bathe of the 12 months begins Wednesday evening

Finest meteor bathe of the 12 months begins Wednesday evening

Wednesday's Geminids are the greatest meteor shower of the year. And this year, they're predicted to yield about 120 meteors per hour.

The Geminids were first noted as a minor meteor shower back in 1862, NASA's Cooke said.

We see the Geminid meteor shower as the dust (meteoroids) burn up in Earth's atmosphere creating meteors. However, since the constellation Gemini does not rise too far above the horizon in this region, the showers will be less impressive than the ones seen from the Northern Hemisphere. That means they won't leave you saying, "Did I just see a meteor?"

"Places like Darwin, Brisbane and equivalent places in Western Australia have the best views", Dr Musgrave said.

The dazzling shooting stars are the space debris left behind in the wake of the barreling asteroid 3200 Phaethon.

The show will compensate for the flop of the in August, when the glare of a full moon snuffed most viewers' attempts to appreciate the event.

How many meteors will you see?

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"So don't be put off by the fact that you're waiting for five or so minutes and you still haven't seen a meteor".

The best viewing time is between 2 a.m. and dawn Thursday, December 14th. As the comet gets close to the sun, the ice melts a bit and releases tiny rocks.

Folks willing to endure some cold and stay up past their bedtimes are about to be treated to the annual Geminid meteor shower this week, which is expected to one of the best of the year.

"Phaethon has to be swinging inwards towards the Sun just as Earth is in the right place to cross [under] its orbit", Dr Horner said.

Once the meteors break out into the sky from their radiant point near the Gemini constellation, they will dash in every direction imaginable.

The geminid meteors in particular are of interests to scientists because they appear to intensify in strenght every year.

There are plenty of other handsome things to see in the December night sky, Dr Musgrave said.


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