What has been widely dubbed as the best meteor shower in the Southern Hemisphere is headed to a Milky Way near you this week.
The Geminids are from the constellation Gemini (nope, don’t even get me started) and are considered by NASA to be the one of the “best and most reliable annual meteor showers”. During peak conditions 120 meteors are able to be spotted flying at 127,000 kph across the night sky.
This Tuesday the 14th, you too might be able to catch yourself a few meteors gone walkabout.
Despite this exciting news, there is one drawback which experts say could potentially put a dampener on this year’s viewing attempts. A full Moon is expected to obscure some of the viewing angles but many are still confident a decent viewing will be possible.
Get outta here, Moon. I’m tryna see some meteors, goddammit!
Dr Tanya Hill is an astronomer at Melbourne Planetarium and spoke to the ABC about how an amateur observer would fare on Tuesday.
“The nice thing about the Geminids is that they can have some really bright meteors,” she said.
“So that means you can see them even though there’s the glare of the Moon.”
Hill also spoke about how lucky Australians are to not have to brave sub zero temperatures in order to see the meteors.
According to Dr Hill our Northern Hemisphere neighbours would “have to go out in the cold winter to be able to see it, whereas … we may be up early in the morning, but it’s much nicer weather”.
Any Aussies keen to see some spicy space action this Tuesday should have their eyeballs angled to the sky at 9pm in Brisbane, 10pm in Perth, 11pm in Sydney, 11.30pm in Adelaide and 12am in Melbourne, as per Concrete Playground’s advice.
For super detailed advice on how to spot the Geminids, Time and Date has put together a step-by-step walkthrough on how to squeeze the most out of your stargazing efforts.
Rug up, grab a hot choccy with some marshmallows and tune in this Tuesday!