Shooting Star Spectacular - Geminids
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Join us at Kielder Observatory for the annual spectacle that is the Geminids meteor shower!
Every year as the Earth follows its journey around the Sun it encounters the left over dust particles from 3200 Phaethon, an object thought to be a Palladian asteroid. As this debris slams into Earth's atmosphere friction causes those particles to burn brightly which we see as shooting stars, also known as meteors! The Geminids meteor shower, named after the constellation Gemini from which they appear to radiate, is one of the best meteor showers to be seen throughout the year second only to the Perseids.
This year the shower peaks on the early hours of the 13th and 14th December and it's on and around these nights that will be the best time to observe them, being at the heart of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park the Kielder Observatory is the best location. The peak takes place near the new moon this year which makes the best conditions for one of the best showers of the year, these particular shooting stars appear slow and bright and are thought to be intensifying every year with a zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) of 120 meteors per hour!
We will set out our comfy two-seater "moon chairs" out onto the observation deck with blankets to keep you warm and cosy and let nature do its thing! We will serve hot drinks including our famous Hot Chocolates to help you keep warm under the starry skies. At the same time the observatory telescopes will be operated by our experienced team of astronomers and we'll be observing the celestial wonders of our Universe including galaxies and star clusters.