A spectacular meteor shower is set to hit Dubai on December 13 with as many as 120 meteors set to fall in an hour.
The Geminid meteor shower started around December 4. But the peak is set to be on December 13. And with no moonlight interference and perfect weather forecast, they should light up the sky with more than one meteor a minute.
The Dubai Astronomy Group is hosting a watching party for the night running from 10 pm to 3 am. And their CEO Hasan Al Hariri explains a little more about what you should see on the night.
“Meteors should be visible across the entire sky, though from Dubai, the radiant of the shower will appear 58° above your north-eastern horizon at midnight. This means you may be able to see around 120 meteors per hour, since the radiant will be high in the sky, maximising the chance of seeing meteors. The shower will be visible across the entire globe except for Antarctica, which gets 24 hours of sunlight per day during this part of the year.”
The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini because the meteors seem to emerge from this constellation in the sky.
Largest solar flare in years narrowly misses Earth – but more eruptions are on their way
OK, first the good news – the largest solar flare for three years narrowly missed hitting the Earth last Sunday. Woo hoo!
Now the bad news: the sunspot that caused the flare is actually coming round to face Earth and could be much more damaging.
Solar flares send out large amounts of electromagnetic radiation. And that burst of energy can damage satellites and cause power cuts.
They’re released from sunspots, the dark patches on the sun which are solar explosions.
The blast on Sunday was a medium-sized one and caused radio blackouts in the South Atlantic.
But the sunspot is now turned towards Earth, and astronomers are watching out for larger solar flares.
“This one wasn’t directed at Earth, but in the next couple of hours that same sunspot will be facing Earth and we have to keep observing it. It could also erupt later on and we have to hope that doesn’t happen.”