In the next few days you can wish for a lot: shooting stars are raining down from the sky – the Geminids. They conjure up sparkling spectacles in the sky. When and where can you see them?
Munich – shooting stars * are supposed to bring luck and fulfill wishes. Now a particularly large number are heading for earth. They are active from mid-December. The shooting stars scratch the earth’s atmosphere and burn up as more or less bright and long traces of light across the night sky. Where and when you can see the Geminids.
Shooting stars over Germany – in the middle of December
If you want to watch a shooting star in the sky over Germany in the coming days, you should aim high: By the middle of the week, the weather will be inversed with foggy and cloudy weather in the lowlands and clear skies at high altitudes, as meteorologist Marco Manitta from the German Weather Service said on Sunday . In the low mountain ranges and in the mountains in southern Germany there should therefore be the best prospects of seeing one of the glowing meteors of the Geminids.
Especially on Tuesday night, stargazers could get their money’s worth. According to the chairman of the Sternfreunde Association, Sven Melchert, the Geminids, named after the constellation Gemini, are the richest river of the year with 150 meteors per hour. The climax is to be expected in the night of December 14th. However, the waxing moon does not set until after midnight, so that in the morning most of the dying meteors will be visible, if the weather cooperates.
According to Sternfreunde, if you want to at least try, you have to look east in the evening. The constellation Gemini – from which the Geminids seem to arise – will then be over the south in the course of the night and in the northwest in the morning. According to the association, the twins already rise in the evening hours in the eastern sky, so shooting stars can be expected throughout the night, even in the days after December 14th.
Shooting stars over Germany: Leonids, Geminids and Ursids on the march
The Geminids are late races, but falling star showers have rained particularly often in recent weeks. For example, the Leonids * in November (maximum: November 17th). The Ursiden will stage the final act (maximum: December 22nd). So many opportunities to make a wish. Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
Tips for a successful Geminid night
- Look for a place with little light, where in the best case you have a clear view of the radiant (apparent origin). The darker the sky, the more shooting stars can be seen.
- Give your eyes enough time to adjust to the darkness.
- Find out about the weather in advance. When the sky is cloudy, it becomes difficult to spot shooting stars.
- Make yourself comfortable in thick clothing and a warm drink – and be patient. It is best to lie flat on your back to have the best possible view of the sky.
Stardust puzzle solved
Cosmic dust grains can not only leave impressive traces of light in the night sky, they can also tell of their billions of years old. As reported by Spectrum of Science , US scientists have now found out in which type of star the microscopic grains formed.
For their analysis, the researchers took chunks of rock into the mangle that fell over Australia as a Murchison meteorite around 50 years ago. 85 stardust grains were sputtered onto its surface: a process in which a high-energy ion beam removes atoms and particles from the surface. When cleaned in this way, the grains could be analyzed in the mass spectrometer. It turned out that the grains come from different types of aging carbon stars, writes the team led by Nan Liu from Washington University in St. Louis in the specialist magazine “The Astrophysical Journal Letters”. Carbon stars are celestial bodies that have more carbon than oxygen in their atmosphere and appear deep red.
It was also shown that the grains had formed around 5 billion years ago in the carbon-rich atmospheres of their original stars and were blown out into the vastness of the galaxy by the star wind. When the solar system was formed around 4.6 billion years ago, some of them were trapped in the rock that researchers came across as the Murchison meteorite.