Muscat – The sky of the Sultanate of Oman is witnessing the Geminid meteor shower – which was named after its launch from the constellation of the Twins (Gemini) – and it will reach its climax between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
“The Geminids are considered to be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year, with the possibility of sighting about 120 meteors per hour at its peak,” the astronomy group said.
In 2020, members of the Omani Astronomical Society observed 1,063 meteors, according to Ibrahim bin Muhammad al Mahrouqi, vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oman Astronomical Society.
He said that the Geminind meteor showers are produced from the wreckage of the asteroid known as Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982 unlike the rest of the meteors whose source is comets.
The Geminids are a prolific meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a rock comet orbit
This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet.
The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December, and usually peak around December 4–16, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of December 14.
The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 2 and 3 am local time. Geminids were first observed in 1862.
Regarding the possibility of observing the phenomenon, Al-Mahrouqi said, “The observation should be from a dark location, away from sources of light pollution or an obstacle such as tall trees. This is an opportunity for amateurs to take pictures decorated with Geminid meteors and some astronomical bodies that appear in the sky during this period. He explained that this phenomenon is one of the astronomical phenomena that can be seen with the naked eye without the need to use special monitoring devices.”