Eyes in the sky: Weekend meteor shower on

Eyes in the sky: Weekend meteor shower on

Meanwhile, the Geminids meteor shower will consist of multi-coloured shooting stars visible from the ground on Thursday and Friday. The Geminids Meteor Shower is finally here and shall grace the skies tonight! Phaethon is a rare blue comet which measures three miles across and orbits around the Sun every 1.4 years. The meteors can appear all across the sky, but they'll appear to be flying away from the area of the bright star Castor in the Gemini constellation.

For a better view, get as far away from city lights as possible, face South, and keep in mind to dress warmly as you enjoy one of the greatest shows on - or above - earth, recommends Google. "If you're lucky, you'll see perhaps 60 meteors in an hour, which is one meteor per minute", but "30 to 40 per hour is much more realistic", he said.

Media captionWhat is the Geminid Meteor Show? This isn't just a few comets moving across the sky.

Each December, the Earth passes through the dusty trail of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, resulting in a spectacular meteor shower known as the Geminids. If there are clear skies over Sarasota, you can expect to see the light show starting between 9-10 p.m.

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The cosmic debris that causes the Geminids comes from a odd object called 3200 Phaethon, which is named after a son of the ancient Greek god Helios.

"I've often said they resemble "celestial field mice" as they scurry across the sky, producing good numbers of bright, graceful, yellowish-white meteors and fireballs", wrote Joe Rao of Space.com.

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

The ideal time to train your eyes skyward would be past midnight tonight i.e. 12 am and until 2 am on Friday night. It is only observable in a clear sky and at high altitude places away from pollution and cities. The really cool aspect of this meteor shower is that at least 120 meteors are produced in an hour. First discovered via satellite data 35 years ago, it has a wildly eccentric orbit, quite unlike most asteroids, which brings the object closer to the sun than Mercury. 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.

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