Green fireballs are set to appear in the night sky this week according to NASA. The Geminid meteor shower will be visible from most parts of the world, but those in the Northern hemisphere will get the best show.
The meteors originate from close to the brightest star in the Gemini constellation known as Castor.
The Geminid showers are known to put on a spectacular show and NASA predicts this will be one of the best night sky watching evenings of the year.
Geminid Shower caused by dusty debris
The Geminid shower occurs when Earth passes through a trail of dusty debris shed by a rocky object named 3200 Phaethon. The dust created by Phaeton burn up when it enters Earth's atmosphere causing the “shooting stars” visible from the ground.
Scientists are still debating about the true nature of Phaethon. It could be either a near-Earth asteroid or an extinct comet, sometimes called a rock comet.
A similar object, called 2005 UD that shares a lot of similarities with Phaethon leads some to believe the two objects were once part of a larger rock that split apart or was broken after colliding with another asteroid.
Find a dark place and lie back
If you are eager to see the shower yourself, you won’t need any special equipment or need to travel far. Experts believe the showers will be most visible on December 13 and 14.
Simply wait for the moon to set around 10:30 pm as its light will wash out the meteor shower. Find the darkest place you can, get away from street lighting. Then simply give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark.
Get out of the city if you can
Don’t look at your cell phone during this time Lie back and look up at the sky, try and give yourself the biggest view of the sky as you can.
You should start to see the Geminid meteors appear, their rate will increase hitting their peak at around or around 100 per hour around 2am. Thought this number is reflective only of someone watching from the perfect position under totally cloudless skies.
But even if you have some light or an obscured view, the show should still be visible, Nasa says that people living in suburbs should still be able to witness at least 30 to 40 meteors per hour.
But if you live in a big city, you’ll want to plan a road trip to get away from those lights. Despite the Geminid meteors being bright and green, they can’t compete with a well-lit city.