Spectacular meteor shower should be visible in Ontario

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Published November 30, 2023 at 9:39 am

geminid meteor shower ontario
(Photo: Raman deep)

One of the year’s best meteor showers should be visible in Ontario in December.

The Geminid meteor shower falls between Nov. 19 to Dec. 24 but peaks on the nights of Dec. 13 and 14 in the northern hemisphere, according to space.com.

This meteor shower packs a punch because of its numbers —  more than 100 meteors per hour at the peak, according to Sky & Telescope.

“The Geminids are considered one of the best meteor showers every year because the individual meteors are bright, and they come fast and furious,” space.com notes.

And this year, the shower’s peak time also falls during a new moon phase making the night sky darker and the meteors more visible.

If the sky is clear, it should be easy to spot the meteors —  look to the northeast of the constellation Orion, between the Taurus and Cancer constellations, according to space.com.

The pre-dawn hours of Dec. 14 could be the best time to spot the Geminid meteor shower.

If the weather is cloudy early Dec. 14, the evening of Dec. 14 and into the Dec. 15 could be equally bounteous, according to Sky & Telescope.

As always, it is best to get well away from the city lights or street lights and find a darker night sky to view the shower.

Geminids originate from an asteroid: 3200 Phaethon, which NASA says is possibly a “dead comet” or a new kind of object being discussed by astronomers called a “rock comet.” Scientists are not certain how to define Phaethon.

The Geminids were first spotted in the mid-1800s but with only 10 to 20 meteors seen per hour, according to NASA. But Geminids have grown to become “one of the major meteor showers of the year,” NASA notes.

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