UAE: How to watch the biggest and last meteor shower of 2022

The shooting stars will be coming from a stream of debris left behind by asteroid 3200 Phaethon, making this one of the only major showers not to originate from a comet



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File photo
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 7 Dec 2022, 10:38 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Dec 2022, 4:10 PM

The UAE skies will dazzle with the Geminids Meteor Shower — one of the most beautiful celestial spectacles — that is set to peak on the night of December 14-15. It will be the biggest and the last meteor shower of the year, and residents will have the chance view see it, according to the Dubai Astronomy Group.

What is the Geminids Meteor Shower?

The Geminids Meteor Shower are pieces of debris that enter our planet’s atmosphere at speeds of up to 70km per second, vaporising and causing the streaks of light we call meteors.

The spectacular meteor shower has been known to produce over 150 meteors per hour at its peak, although light pollution and other factors mean that in reality, the actual number visible is far less.

Geminids meteors appear to radiate from near the bright star Castor. However, the actual source of the shooting stars is a stream of debris left behind by asteroid 3200 Phaethon, making this one of the only major showers not to originate from a comet.

When will it happen?

Residents can catch the spectacle on Wednesday, December 14, and Thursday, December 15. However, this year, there may be interference from the 70 per cent illuminated moon, which will outshine fainter meteors.

How to watch this event?

Dubai Astronomy Group CEO Hasan Al Hariri said people don’t need any special equipment or skills to view a meteor shower. All that is needed is a clear sky and a secluded viewing spot away from the city lights.

Residents planning to go out in the desert to watch the meteor show should carry warm clothes as it can get very cold in the open.

Dubai Astronomy Group is also hosting a special event on December 14 at Al Qudra in Dubai. The event will take place from 8pm to12am and it will also include the observation of Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn with a telescope; astrophotography session; sky mapping; naked-eye observation of the meteors, and more.

Tickets for the event start at Dh70. For more details, go to the official website of Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre.

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