Google marks Geminid meteor shower with a series of doodles


There's going to be a attractive spectacle over South Africa later tonight, on the night of Friday 14 December going into Saturday morning, when the Geminids Meteor Shower will be fully visible in the night skies.

Each year, the Earth passes through a trail of debris left by the asteroid as it orbits around the Sun. Since the 1800s, with every passing year, the escalation of yellowish streaks of light in the night-sky have only grown intense.

The best meteor shower of the year - the Geminids - arrives this week. Obviously, you get a better view, away from city lights.

Avoid using flashlights, or use flashlights with red-color settings, to preserve your night vision.

NASA suggests going to the darkest place you can, give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the dark, including looking at your cell phone. There's no specific direction in the sky to look to find them.

"Expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour from a dark sky location, but only after the first quarter moon sets around midnight your local time". Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look straight up. A large field is ideal because you can then let your eyes roam across the whole sky. Its gravity has dragged 3200P closer to earth. This will be the last - and strongest - meteor shower of the year, according to NASA.

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What is the Geminid meteor shower? That's because, from our vantage point on the ground, the meteors seem to move more quickly as the Earth turns towards Gemini; during the earlier hours of the night, the meteors will appear longer and more sluggish.

These little beauties will start lighting up the night sky from late on Friday night, with meteors visible from 22:00 onwards.

The lovely Aurora Borealis photobombed by the Geminids shower!

And while the Northern Hemisphere will get the best views, people in Europe and Africa will be able to catch a glimpse just before and after its peak. But unlike most meteor showers, which originate from icy comets, the Geminids stem from the mysterious rocky object 3200 Phaethon.

It is considered as a naked eye event where one does not require any equipment or instruments for watching. However, simply steer clear of bright lights, polluted city areas and skyscrapers to witness nature's magic.