Geminid meteor shower to peak next week

Taipei- Stargazers in Taiwan will have an opportunity next Wednesday and Thursday to catch the Geminid meteor shower, which is forecast to produce a maximum of about 120 shooting stars per hour, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said Saturday.

Weather permitting, the best time to observe the shooting stars is between 10 p.m. and midnight on both days, when they reach the zenith, the museum said.

However, due to moonlight interference after 1 a.m. the next day, visibility will decline, it said.

Visible to the naked eye, the Geminids are one of the three most prolific meteor showers of the year, along with the Quadrantids in January and the Perseids in August.

The museum suggested stargazers go to areas where there are relatively few lights, to increase their chances of seeing as many meteors as possible.

The best locations are mountains with an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level or higher, the museum said.

Originating from an asteroid instead of a comet as is most common, the Geminid meteor shower occurs when the Earth ploughs through the debris from asteroid 3200 Phaethon, according to the museum.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel