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Geminid meteor shower set to peak on December 13-14

Dec 10 (): Geminid meteor shower is all set to peak in the next few days. The meteor shower has started its magnificent show from December 7 and it will go on till December 17. But, the shower will reach the peak on the night of December 13, the early morning of December 14, with about 120 streaks/hour.

Mr. Nguyen Duc Phuong from the Vietnam Space Observatory Association said observers can turn their eyes toward the constellation Gemini – the focal point of the meteor shower, when this constellation is quite high in comparison to the southeast horizon. Phuong added this time the bright moonlight may affect the observations, but the Geminids is the large meteor shower with lots of bright meteors so we can still enjoy the interesting and colourful show of meteors.

The Geminid meteor shower is the most extreme meteor shower of the year. It continues for several days (December 7-17th) and is rich in fireballs. It can be seen from almost any point on Earth. The 2013 peak rate is between 100-120 meteors per hour.

The greatest time to see Geminids is normally around 1:00 am-2:00 am your local time. This year, the presence of a bright moon may make 4:00 am to dawn a better time. The shower can be best seen in a place away from city lights. Allow 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to darkness. Just lie on your back, without any binoculars and look straight up.

The Geminids have a trend to rise slowly toward their peak period. The day before they peak, the majority of the meteors that are seen are usually rather faint. But at the peak as well as the day after, the shower is ruled by a majority of bright meteors. And the intensity of the display drops off rather sharply the day after the peak.

Geminids stand apart from the other meteor showers as they seem to have been produced not by a comet, but by 3200 Phaeton, an Earth-crossing asteroid.