Barring any weather disturbance, stargazers can have their fill of the annual Geminids meteor shower Thursday night – the last sky show for 2012.
“Under a dark and cloudless sky just after midnight [Dec. 13] of its peak activity, meteors or ‘falling stars’ can be seen at an average rate of forty meteors per hour. The shower will appear to radiate from the constellation of Gemini, the Twin,” said Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration administrator Nathaniel Servando.
An article on EarthSky.org said the Geminids will be the last meteor shower of 2012, which can produce “50 or more meteors” per hour.
It also said the Geminids usually compete with August’s Perseids for the title of most prolific display of the year.
“With no moon to ruin the show, 2012 presents a most favorable year for watching the grand finale of the meteor showers. Best viewing of the Geminids will probably be from about 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on December 14,” it said.
Aside from the meteor show, Servando said the equilateral “Winter Triangle” will rise after sunset.
The triangle includes Betelgeuse, the super giant red star and the prominent star of the famous constellation Orion; Sirius, the brightest star in the sky of the constellation Canis Major; and Procyon, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Minor. — DVM, GMA News