Google Doodle follows Geminid meteor shower to Earth

Geminid Meteor Shower 2018 Google Doodle Marks The Sky Light Show Through Slideshow Best Time to See Meteor Shower

The year's most spectacular meteor shower is this weekend

The Geminid meteor shower will peak Thursday evening, December 13 into Friday morning.

Earth is treated to the Geminids once a year when we pass through the debris of what astronomers suspect is 3200 Phaethon - an odd asteroid-comet hybrid, often referred to as a "rock comet" since it has characteristics of both. They are the only major meteor shower not originating from a comet and were first observed in the 19th century.

You don't need any special equipment to watch the meteor shower - the naked eye is the best instrument to use.

Avoid using flashlights, or use flashlights with red-color settings, to preserve your night vision. Then simply give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark. Stargazers are encouraged to head over to the darkest spots outside and look up for a show of lights streaming across the sky.

How many meteors can you see during Geminids?

The rising of a new moon just a few days prior to the shower's peak will mean darker skies, which are ideal conditions under which to observe this spectacle.

Heavy rain and strong winds are expected to cross Ireland on Saturday, but Sunday will be "bright and breezy".

In the month of December every year, a meteor shower wows skywatchers around the world.

These little beauties will start lighting up the night sky from late on Friday night, with meteors visible from 22:00 onwards.

The Perseids in summer result in around 80 per hour again with bright meteors but with plenty of trains, the long streaks across the skies.

Get ready for what might be the best meteor shower of 2018.

"If you can see the familiar winter constellations Orion and Gemini in the sky, you'll see some Geminids", NASA explained in a skywatching video. The best views will come between roughly midnight and 4 a.m., when the area from which the meteors appear to radiate passes almost overhead. Though the Geminids favor the Northern Hemisphere, the meteors will be visible from the Southern Hemisphere as well.

"Green fireballs" are set to light up the sky this week, according to NASA, making it one of the best weeks for sky watching this year. The debris shed by 3200 Phaethon crashes into Earth's upper atmosphere at extremely high speed, to vaporize as colorful Geminid meteors.

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