« Previous | Main | Next »

Meteor showers tonight

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:41 UK time, Monday, 13 December 2010

It's that time of year again and we're in for a treat tonight and early on Tuesday morning as the skies should be fairly clear over much of Wales.

The Geminids can be seen annually at this time of year.

Most meteor showers are linked to dust and debris from comets but the Geminids originate from an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon.

3200 Phaethon has a cloud of dust trailing from it that the Earth moves through every year in mid December.

Particles of dust travelling at 80,000 mph hit our atmosphere and appear as bright pale green streaks of light, streaking across the sky at a rate of up to 80 per hour.

To see the Geminids, stand with your feet pointing North, West or Southwards and look up at an angle of about 45 degrees. I'll be cheating this time and using my iphone 'star walk' application to find them! ;)

If you know your constellations then look up towards the Castor star which forms part of Gemini.

The best time to see them will be a couple of hours after midnight so set your alarm and wrap up warm, as it will be a chilly night.

There's a nice little piece in the Guardian about the meteor showers today.

As ever I'd love to see your pics particularly with the BBC 'star gazing' event coming up in early January...but more on that nearer the time.

Send your pics to me at wales.nature@bbc.co.uk or submit them to our fantastic Flickr group.


  • No comments to display yet.

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.