Muscat – The skies of Oman will brighten up on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday when the Geminid meteor shower – always a favourite among the annual meteor showers – is expected to peak for this year’s show.
Ibrahim bin Mohammed al Mahrouqi, vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Omani Astronomical Society, said that the month of December will witness a number of astronomical events, including some extraordinary meteor showers known astronomically as Geminids.
These meteor showers are one of the best throughout the year, as they fall at almost all hours of every dark night.
Astronomical calculations indicate that this meteor shower will reach its peak on Wednesday evening and continue until Thursday dawn, as meteors and fireballs can be seen in the skies of the sultanate and the world in an eye-catching scene, Mahrouqi stated.
He expects that the highest rate of falling will reach 120 meteors per hour, while remembering that the members of the society monitored 1,063 falling stars during the six hours of monitoring the Geminid meteor shower of 2020 in an eye-catching scene. Its peak was between 1am and 1:59am, reaching 227 meteors in one hour.
Mahrouqi explained that unlike the rest of the meteors that come from comets, the Geminid meteors are from the debris of the asteroid known as Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982.
To witness this phenomenon unfolding, the Omani astronomer reminded that “an observation site must be dark – far away from any source of light and obstructions such as tall trees”.
One must look towards the eastern horizon of the sky’s dome from after midnight until before dawn on Thursday, he advised, noting that this event offers an opportunity for astrophotography to capture the dazzle of the sky.
This phenomenon is one of the astronomical phenomena that can be viewed with the naked eye.