One of the biggest events in the December night sky is the mesmerizing Geminid Shower, one of the most abundant meteor showers of the year. Discover here how to observe these spectacular shooting stars and all the information on the Meteor shower calendar for December 2022.
Calendar star rain december 2022
In the 2022 meteor shower calendar, the month of December stands out in a special way: we refer to the Geminid meteor shower and that this year will take place from December 4 to 20.
When will be the peak of maximum activity? The Geminids meteor shower is quite abundant and is the penultimate of the year, preceding the Ursids. They are produced by the astronomical fall and their peak activity occurs on the night of December 13-14. In this sense, it is the most important meteor shower of December. Here are some curiosities about this fascinating astronomical event.
What is the origin and why are the Geminids so called?
During the month of December, the Earth will cross the orbit of the object 3200 Phaeton, an asteroid believed to belong to the Pallas family (third largest body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter), with a rocky comet orbit. Astronomers, studying the orbit of this object, concluded that the asteroid left “debris” in its path. The Geminids are thus one of the rare meteor showers, with the Quadrantids, which do not come from a comet. This meteor shower takes place every year between December 4 and 20.
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As for the appellation itself, as each year the Earth passes through a ring populated by these “debris” or fragments, and therefore, as they enter our atmosphere, they disintegrate and ignite at impressive speeds . Since the meteor shower seems to come from a single point of origin, the radiant of the constellation Gemini, the position of this point in the sky is used to denote the origin and name these shooting stars, hence the name of Geminids. .
When can we enjoy the shower of shooting stars?
The Geminids “visit” the northern hemisphere every year between December 4 and 20. As we have already said the peak of maximum activity will occur between December 13 and 14 and more precisely on that day at 07:00., with an estimated average of 150 meteors per hour. They travel through space at 35 kilometers per second and that, combined with the rate of activity, makes it one of the most intense rains of the year.
The countryside, a lookout, a mountain, places without light pollution and with a clear horizon, are the ideal places to observe the meteor shower.
Apparently, like the Orionids and Leonids, the peak of maximum activity for Gemini will be three days after our natural satellite (the Moon) reaches the crescent phase (December 11 at 1:36 a.m.). Unfortunately, in 2022 there will not be optimal viewing conditions for this meteor shower due to the bright moon.
Avoid big cities
As with other astronomical events of this type, the viewing location can be anywhere, as long as it is away from artificial lights. The best thing for lovers of this type of phenomenon, and for the curious, is to get out of town, avoid cloudy nights and light pollution, especially in big cities, and finally look for a clear horizon.
December, when does the sun start to set later?
Try to arrive half an hour to an hour before the start of the “show” so that your eyes get used to the darkness. Since the Moon will be in its waxing phase, it is best to arrive at the viewing site after midnight. And of course, since we are already in climatological winter (and the astronomer only has a few days left), don’t forget to bring a warm jacket, because the nights are getting colder. We hope that when the time comes, you will be able to witness this magnificent shower of stars, as part of the stellar calendar 2022.