Geminids 2017

Geminids 2017: Watch Moon and Mars sit next to each other THIS MORNING in pre-dawn sky

Geminids 2017GETTY

By the end of December, the Red Planet will move closer to the gas giant Jupiter

Predicted to be one of the most dazzling ever, the shower will see the Moon sit incredibly close to the Red Planet in a crescent form.

The pre-dawn sky on Wednesday will see the two incredible icons fit into the same field of view of binoculars.

Mars will sit to the upper left of the Virgo star constellation’s brightest star, Spica – it will ascend as the month continues.

The planet’s eastward orbital movement will move it into the Libra constellation by December 21.

By the end of December, the Red Planet will move closer to the gas giant Jupiter with a close interaction between the two planets taking place next month.

The Gemini meteor shower takes place from December 4 to 16 but will peak on Thursday where more than 120 meteors will be viewable under the night sky.

On Thursday the crescent Moon will fit in the same field of view of binoculars as Jupiter and the large asteroid Vesta.

Vesta is one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt that was discovered over 200 years ago.

Uranus will be positioned between the two stars that link the fishes of the Pisces constellation – as December ends, Uranus will reach a visual magnitude of 5.7, making it bright enough to observe with binoculars.

Neptune will spend this month in the Aquarius star constellation and will be positioned near the Lambda Aquarii star.

This year, Royal Observatory Greenwich is expecting up to 75 meteors an hour during the peak of the Geminids shower.

NASA advises all stargazers to seek out the Geminid meteors in the pre-dawn hours when the peak is at its most intense.

But you will be able to look out for them as early as sunset when the darkness of night slowly engulfs the planet.

The shooting stars should be visible across the entire globe thanks to their broad 24-hour spectrum.

In the UK today, the sun will set around 3.51pm over London, at 5.42pm in Glasgow and viewers in Cardiff will see it set at 4.03pm.

Heading over the Atlantic, the sun will set over New York at 4.28pm EST and at 4.51pm PST in San Fransisco.

Stargazers in Melbourne, Australia, will get to see the sun set later in the day at 8.36pm local time.

Meanwhile, audiences in Moscow, Russia, will see the sun go down as early as 3.56pm local time.

NeptuneGETTY

Neptune will spend this month in the Aquarius star constellation

According to Royal Observatory Greenwich, the only thing you will need with you on the day of the shower is your eyes.

The Observatory said: “Hunting for meteors, like the rest of astronomy, is a waiting game, so it’s best to bring a comfy chair to sit on and to wrap up warm as you could be outside for a while.

“They can be seen with the naked eye so there’s no need for binoculars or a telescope, though you will need to adjust your eyes to the dark.”

Virgo star constellationGETTY

Mars will sit to the upper left of the Virgo star constellation’s brightest star, Spica

For the most optimal viewing experience, you should aim to stay away from bright sources of lights and be on the lookout for clear skies.

The presence of a waxing crescent moon this month should aid you, by not obscuring the show with moonlight.

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

Posted on; Express.co.uk>>

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