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Magnificent Geminid meteor shower to light up UAE sky

Filed on December 14, 2017 | Last updated on December 14, 2017 at 07.09 am

(Alamy)

Enthusiasts will also get to see planets.

UAE stargazers are in for a treat as the magnificent Geminid meteor shower is expected to light up the night sky until December 16.

The Geminid meteor shower will be especially spectacular during the night of December 13 and early morning of December 14, as the Dubai Astronomy Group has predicted at least 120 meteors to be visible in a single hour.

The Geminid meteor shower is nearly 200 years old, according to known records and its first recorded observation was in 1833 from the Mississippi River, USA.

Astronomy experts have recommended that the best time to view a meteor shower is in the hours just before dawn. The peak of the Geminid, which is considered to be one of the most prolific meteor showers of the year, is after dark on December 14.

In addition to the Geminid meteor shower, several beautiful pairings of the crescent moon with the planets Jupiter and Mars can also be viewed on the morning of Dec-ember 15 at around 4am, stated the group.

The astronomy group is also organising an event on December 14: 'Geminids Meteor Shower camp' in which astronomy enthusiasts can experience a training session titled 'Decoding the Night Sky' by a well-known astronomer.

They can also view the meteor shower and other celestial bodies like planets, galaxies and deep sky objects with a telescope and laser marking of stars.

Additionally, there will be a lecture, demonstrations and Q&A sessions about the stars and universe. Details about the event can be found on www.q-tickets.com

What causes meteor showers?

Every year, around the same dates, the Earth passes through swarms of rocky particles associated with the orbits of various comets.

When these meteoroids encounter Earth's atmosphere at tremendously high speeds - up to well over 100,000mph - they burn up from the friction and produce the brief streaks of light we call meteors.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

Staff Reporter


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