Google Doodle marks the Geminid Meteor Shower event on Thursday (December 13, 2018) by illustrating the meteor shower’s path through Earth’s atmosphere. The Geminid Meteor Shower 2018 will light up the sky on the night of December 13. The impressive meteor showers are brought to the Earth’s atmosphere every December by an asteroid called Phaethon, which satellite data discovered 35 years ago. Phaethon is responsible for bringing the spectacular Geminid meteor showers to Earth’s atmosphere each December. Also Read - Arati Saha: Google Pays Tribute to Legendary Indian Swimmer Arati Saha on Her 80th Birth Anniversary
Google says Phaethon is named after the ancient Greek god Apollo’s son. 3200 Phaethon is an asteroid whose orbit brings it closer to the sun than Mercury. With each passing year since the mid-1800s, the creation of yellowish streaks of light in the night-time sky has grown more intense. Also Read - COVID-19 Pandemic: Google Reminds People to ‘Wear Mask And Save Lives’ Through Animated Doodle
The Google Doodle slideshow follows the Geminids’ path through Earth’s atmosphere as it lights up the sky. When Phaethon’s orbit leads it near the sun, the extreme heat causes it to rupture and leaves a trail of debris in its orbital path. Also Read - Thank You Coronavirus Helpers: Google Dedicates Colourful Doodle to Honour Frontline Warriors
How can we see and what is the best time to view?
If the weather is clear, 2018 should be the best year ever to watch the Gemenides – named after the constellation Gemini as they seem to originate from there. To view the showers, we don’t need a telescope or binoculars. Phaethon’s debris trail should become visible after 9 pm on December 13, peaking after midnight with as many as 120 meteors per hour. The cosmic dust may have resulted from a crash with another flying object, but there’s little danger of any Geminids landing on earth as it normally splits up in the earth’s atmosphere.
For the best viewing conditions, get as far away from city lights as possible, face South, and remember to dress warmly as you enjoy one of the greatest shows on—or above—earth.
The meteor shower will be better if you let your eyes adapt to the dark and that can take as long as 20 minutes. Plus the meteors tend to come in spurts, followed by lulls. So, be patient.
Watch the full slideshow here:
Every December, Earth’s orbit leads us through the trail of 3200 Phaethon and its debris crashes into our atmosphere at 79,000 miles (127,000 km) per hour, says Google.