There❜s A Meteor Shower Over Sydney On Wednesday Night
Even the night skies are lighting up for the festive season, with the annual Geminid meteor shower visible over Sydney this week from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning.
Moonrise (not to be confused with sunset) will occur over Sydney at 12:29 am AEDT on Wednesday, 15 December. The best time to see the event in its full glory is a few hours before the moon has fully risen and it becomes too bright to see the celestial show.
The Geminid meteor shower can be seen from 13 December to 16, with a peak between 10.30 pm - 11 pm AEST on 15 December (1-2 hours before the moonrise).
If this is too late for your little space lovers, don't worry; there will still be some (albeit slightly slower) activity as the night sky darkens on Wednesday night, but you have to be in it for the long haul.
Jonti Horner, an astronomer at the University of Southern Queensland, told ABC News that patience is vital.
"The good rule of thumb is meteors are like buses; you can wait 10 minutes, and three come along at once," he says.
"I can almost guarantee [that] if you just look for five minutes, you'll be disappointed."
"Lay back, share it with other people, chill out, and you'll see what you see."
An asteroid called 3200 Phaethon creates the Geminid meteors when it passes through Earth's debris.
The spectacle is one of our most visible and reliable meteor showers of the year, so a great one to let the kids stay awake for - bleary eyes the following day, be damned!
All we need is a clear, dark sky and patience as our eyes adjust to the darkness to give us the best chance of capturing the phenomenon. No special equipment or astronomical skills are required.
Check out this Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map for where, when and how to see the Geminid meteor shower from where you are, then lie down and look to the stars!
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