Between the night of Tuesday, December 12, and the early hours of Wednesday, you and your whole family will enjoy the strongest of the most beautiful showers of meteors (shooting stars) in 2023.
The Geminids are the name given to the last meteor shower of the year.
In fact, the celestial event began in November, but when will we see the best show on the dates mentioned at the beginning?
We will enjoy a “baldazo” of shooting stars that travel about 125 thousand kilometers per hour, which is about 40 times faster than the speed of gunfire.
Don’t be afraid, because even though you can see a lot, most of them burned at an altitude of 88 kilometers.
The advantage of Geminids is that they can be enjoyed with the naked eye, that is, without the need for special equipment such as telescopes.
“The Earth encountered the jet of particles left by the asteroid 3200 Phaeton since the beginning of December, and the Earth’s gravity took them, so it fell as a wide meteor shower from November 19 to December 17. It is very widespread rain.
“This jet of particles has a lower center of aerolites that will cause the peak of this meteor shower. (…) Between 120 and 140 meteors per hour are expected at peak time,” explained the Foundation for the National Meteorological Center of Technology (Cientec).
To enhance the performance, the new moon will rise on December 12, so that it will not be covered by the shooting stars.
This view can be seen from many places in the country, although it is necessary to find the right conditions.
“‘Shooting stars’ are created all over the sky; they are very fast, and you have to have a wide horizon to follow them. In an environment with a dark sky, away from artificial lights, the eyes open and a wide horizon to move your head and follow it is enough. Knowing the constellation Gemini and its neighbors would be ideal.
At what time is it visible? This is one of the major showers with good activity before midnight because the constellation Gemini rises above the eastern horizon early in the evening, approximately 10 p.m.
What are the Geminids? These meteors can be very bright and intensely colored. Because these are intermediate-speed meteors, there are not as many frequent flashes recorded as in other showers.
Alejandra León, director of Cientec, recommends that they look for a clear sky, preferably away from the lights of the city, that they organize good company, that it’s a night to stay awake, and that they bring a blanket to sleep on or a folding chair. be more comfortable.
“Also, secure shelter and food for the early morning and learn to recognize the constellation of Gemini, the twins. It’s easy to think about.”
They also recommend that you “try to observe a relatively high region of the sky. If you want to track your observations, you can use a recorder. Remember that it will take 20 minutes to adjust your eyes in the dark and your pupils to dilate.
“If you use a flashlight, cover it with a red filter or red cellophane paper so that it does not compress again. “This way, you can see everything or navigate in the dark without being dazzled.”
The Geminids are just one of about 30 different meteor showers that fall on Earth each year.
Some of these showers were studied, Cientec explained, more than 100 years ago; for example, the August Perseids were mentioned in history more than 200 years ago.
Enjoy the astronomical night in Santa Ana. Cientec and Fundazoo are organizing an event with limited space from December 15 to 16, 2023, at the Santa Ana Conservation Center.
This is an event for families, groups of friends, and astronomy fans of all levels.
They will stay one night outside, observing the stars with guides and having access to optical instruments and teaching materials per participant.
Enjoy your picnic under the stars! (No knowledge or instruments are required.).