Geminids 2017: Can you still see them tonight?


It was like a magical scene right out of a story book as a meteor or shooting star streaked across the sky above a church in Krevo village, north-west of Minsk, Belarus, yesterday during the annual Geminid meteor shower.

They will rise highest in the sky - and put on the most impressive show - for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere while for those in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be slightly less dramatic - as the constellation will not rise much above the local horizon.

Photographers have captured stunning pictures of the "magical" Geminid meteor shower as it reached its peak last night.

A positive note, though. "It's either a near-Earth asteroid or an extinct comet, sometimes called a rock comet".

The National Weather Service based in Raleigh in the US said the meteor shower has reached its peak but it still should be visible over the next few nights as well, but cloud cover will mean the meteors are less visible than last night.

Of course, in a few days, you'll be looking up to see that reindeer-powered UFO.

The Geminids can be seen with the naked eye against dark skies over most parts of the world.

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The shower happens when the Earth crosses paths with a trail of rocky debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon.

If you missed out on the astronomical wonder, you will be able to view individual meteors until Saturday December 16. Having an asteroid as the foundation of a meteor shower provides an excellent source of dust grains that will burn up as they dive into the Earth's atmosphere, according to NASA.

The Geminids can deliver up to 120 meteors every hour.

It is named after Gemini, because the shooting stars appear to "radiate" from the constellation's bright stars Castor and Pollux.

Here, Dr. Debiprosad Duari, Director, M. P. Birla Planetarium, Kolkata, explains meteors and the Geminid meteor shower.

The photos demonstrate a couple interesting points about meteor showers.