Australian Australian stargazers will be treated to a galactic display as the planets align and shooting stars will illuminate the night sky next week.
When the Earth passes through the tail of an asteroid on Monday morning, the space party begins with the annual Gemini meteor shower.
It is then the turn of Jupiter and Saturn to shine when they “kiss” on Thursday as a “great connection” to a 20-year one-time event.
This is a special event and the closest event since the year 1226, said Dr. B Brad Tucker, an astronomer at the Australian National University.
Astronomers should look at the western sky at 8.30pm.
Tucker said, “You will see a thin crescent-shaped moon and two bright objects beside it – it will stand close to Jupiter and Saturn and personally.
“If you have a small telescope or a pair of binoculars, you should be able to see the rings and shapes of Saturn and the moon of Jupiter.”
Geminids is the annual meteor shower as the Earth passes through the tail of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.
When small rocks are broken by asteroids and burn in the atmosphere it creates a visual phenomenon outside of this world.
The name Gemini comes from the constellation Gemini where meteors fall in the sky.
Tucker said, “Some years are better than others, and this year should be better.
“The moon will be just before the new phase, so we will have wonderful dark skies.”
Stargazers should find a dark place free from light pollution and look north to see the shooting stars. No special devices required.
Tucker said, “Let your eyes adjust for five to 10 minutes when you go out and then have a nice, wide view.
“You can expect to see 15 to 40 meteors or shooting stars in an hour.”
Australia People from the north of Australia are likely to see the best show but meteors will be seen across the country.
The best time to see a meteor shower is from 2am to sunrise.
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