As always at this time of year, the geminid meteor shower will become its most noticeable tonight.
This happens because the Earth passes in front of the meteor cloud at a speed of 30 km per second (100,000 km / h), which detonates the flaming debris as it enters the upper atmosphere, about 100 km away. from the surface of the Earth.
It is expected that between 50 and 150 shooting stars per hour will be visible this evening, especially since the shower reaches its maximum between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., so very early in the morning on Monday, December 14.
The rain peaks around 1:00 am to 2:00 am because that is when the “radiant point” – the point in the sky from which meteors appear to be radiating – is highest in the sky.
Watchers are advised that meteors will be much brighter away from city lights and street lights, and that you may have a better view if you turn south – although meteors will appear in all parts of the sky. .
Stargazing site EarthSky it: “Meteors tend to be bold, white, and swift. ”
He also advises astronomers to “allow yourself at least an hour of observation” because “it takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.”
The Geminid shower takes its name from the constellation Gemini, and the cloud is located near the star Castor, which is actually a cluster of stars within the constellation “Twins”. Castor is 52 light years away and close to another bright star, Pollux in Gemini.
Geminids are also best viewed from the northern hemisphere, but can also be seen from the southern hemisphere.
Shortly after the meteor shower, the planet Venus will become visible in the east, towards dawn.
The shooting stars will be particularly visible this evening in France
France will see a “perfect sky” for stargazing this weekend