Tuesday 22 January 2019

Stunning timelapse footage shows Geminid meteor shower lighting up sky

Brits may get to see a similar spectacle on Friday night.

The stunning footage shows the meteor shower over the course of an hour-and-a-half (Jason Keyes)
The stunning footage shows the meteor shower over the course of an hour-and-a-half (Jason Keyes)

By Stephen Jones, Press Association Social Media Editor

Remarkable timelapse footage shows the Geminid meteor shower shimmering in the sky.

The video, shot by Jason Keyes, shows the celestial activity in the sky above Gilbert, Arizona in the United States on Thursday night.

The footage was shot over the course of an hour and a half, and was subsequently sped up, creating a dazzling effect.

The long streaks flashing across the video’s frame are planes, but the shorter streaks show the meteors passing across the sky.

The Geminid meteors originate from a rocky asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, and each year the Earth passes through a trail of debris left by the asteroid as it travels around the Sun.

Geminids travel slower at about 35km per second and burn brighter than most other meteors, creating long, glowing arcs of white, yellow, blue, red and green.

Brits have an opportunity to see the showers for themselves in the skies on Friday night, along with Comet Wirtanen which passes the Earth this weekend as well.

While in some dark rural areas the comet will be visible to the naked eye, astronomers are recommending people use binoculars or telescopes to get the best view of it.

People looking to the southern skies on Friday should be able to see the shooting stars, although the Met Office said there will be patchy cloud overnight.

However, gales, heavy rain and blizzards are expected on Saturday.

Press Association

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