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Meteor shower set for lighting the sky

Bring your eyes to the sky, as one of the most spectacular meteor showers is designed to illuminate the sky.

If it emerges from the Gemini constellation (hence the name), the Geminids meteor shower appears at a similar time each year when the earth passes through a tail or a cloud of asteroid debris, which is unusual because most of the meteor showers are formed from the end of the comet.

James Cook's physics lecturers, John Daicopoulos, said that the trail of a slag from an asteroid or comet is similar to a dust cloud that stretches from a car running down the road.

"The Earth is orbiting the Sun and every year around the Earth it passes through a dusty cloud that is essentially the tail of an asteroid," he said

"We are near the new moon and the shower is just a month before it reaches its first quarter, which is good because the meteors are not necessarily the brightest things, so you do not want a big bright moon, you want the dark sky."

Mr. Daicopoulos said that when it comes to optimal times, it's a little "guessing the game."

"You never know what part of the cloud or debris the earth is going through, the best way to see a meteor shower is just to get out and look up.

"Geminides will be fast – they'll be in the sky for a few seconds. You never know what's coming in that year, but you'll generally see anything from one to three minutes per minute."

"There could be a great fireball at night or it could be – but you will not see it unless you see it in the sky," he said.


CO: Geminids Meteor Shower

WHEN: Friday 14 December

WHERE: Worldwide! The best viewing for Qld is from 10.30pm.

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