Geminid meteor shower to dazzle holiday stargazers

Canadian stargazers looking to kick off the holiday season with some fireworks may get a gift from the cosmos as the weekend comes to a close.

See Full Article

The Geminid meteor shower is set to peak Sunday, and through to Monday morning, offering viewers a dazzling celestial show of between 30 to 120 shooting stars per hour.

Andrew Fazekas, astronomy columnist for National Geographic, said that if there are clear skies, the optimal viewing time is likely 10 p.m. ET.

"It comes around like the Old Faithful, because it never fails to please," Fazekas told CTV’s News Channel on Sunday morning.

"It is considered one of the best showers."

While stargazers in rural areas will likely get the best display because of the relative absence of lights, city dwellers should still see between 20 to 30 shooting stars per hour, Fazekas said.

The Geminids usually fail to attract as much attention as August's Perseids meteor shower, but Fazekas said the notion that the December event is inferior is misguided.

Fazekas said the Geminid shower is “actually better” but it is typically ignored because “it is near the holiday season” and occurs when cooler temperatures make for less-than-ideal stargazing conditions.

"People don't think about it too much, but really it is a beautiful celestial fireworks show."

Geminid meteors whiz across the sky from all directions, and NASA says the best way to get a good look is to lie on the ground and look straight up at the stars.

"What you're going to see is basically sand green-sized particles that are hitting the atmosphere at incredible speeds of about 30 kilometres a second," Fazekas said.

"At those speeds the … particles burn up due to friction as they hit the upper atmosphere of the Earth, and it produces this streak of light across the sky."

The Geminids are leftover debris from an extinct comet known as 3200 Phaethon.

The Earth passes through the debris every year in mid-December.


Latest Tech & Science News

  • Russian indicted on charges he hacked LinkedIn

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- A Russian man has been charged with hacking and stealing information from computers at LinkedIn and other San Francisco Bay Area companies, federal prosecutors announced Friday. A grand jury indicted Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 29, of Moscow, Russia, on Thursday on charges including computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Source
  • Why it's so hard to land on Mars: Bob McDonald

    Tech & Science CBC News
    It looks more and more like the Schiaparelli lander crashed on Mars this week, a huge disappointment for the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. But the incident is only the last in a long history of robot missions to Mars, where almost 60 per cent have failed for one reason or another. Source
  • Jeremy the snail is rare, lonely and looking for love

    Tech & Science CBC News
    more stories from this episodeFacial recognition software 'sounds like science fiction,' but may affect half of AmericansJeremy the snail is rare, lonely and looking for loveFull Episode Jeremy is looking for love. But Jeremy has a problem. Source
  • Schiaparelli Mars probe crash-landed, may have exploded, says ESA

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Images taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that a missing European space probe was destroyed on impact after plummeting to the surface of the Red Planet from a height of two to four kilometres, the European Space Agency said on Friday. Source
  • European Space Agency says Mars probe may have exploded

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BERLIN -- The European Space Agency says its experimental Mars probe crash-landed and may have exploded when it hit the surface of the red planet Wednesday. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken pictures showing a black spot in the area where the craft, called Schiaparelli, was meant to land. Source
  • Photos show European probe may have exploded when it hit Mars

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BERLIN -- Europe's experimental Mars probe hit the right spot -- but at the wrong speed -- and may have ended up in a fiery ball of rocket fuel when it struck the surface, scientists said Friday. Source
  • Facebook removes breast cancer video, citing 'inappropriate' content

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Facebook is under fire for removing a cartoon breast cancer awareness video due to “inappropriate” content. The video, posted by the Swedish Cancer Society, demonstrated how to perform a self-breast exam with round pink circles mimicking breasts. Source
  • Cincinnati Zoo rejoins Twitter following Harambe controversy

    Tech & Science CTV News
    In this May 30, 2016 file photo, Alesia Buttrey, of Cincinnati, holds a sign with a picture of the gorilla Harambe during a vigil in his honour outside the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) Source
  • U.S. internet disrupted as key firm hit by cyberattack

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LONDON -- Cyberattacks on a key internet firm repeatedly disrupted the availability of popular websites across the United States Friday, according to analysts and company officials. The White House described the disruption as malicious. Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn Inc. Source
  • Cyberattacks disrupt popular websites, affecting users in the U.S., Canada

    Tech & Science CTV News
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS@ LONDON -- Cyberattacks on a key Internet firm repeatedly disrupted the availability of popular websites across the United States on Friday, according to analysts and company officials. The attack had knock-on effects for users trying to access popular websites from across America, Canada and even in Europe. Source