Geminids Meteor Shower 2011: Where To Catch A Glimpse Of The Stars Tonight
If you’re planning to brave the wintry weather to catch a glimpse of tonight’s Geminids meteor shower, we have a list of the best spots to be.
For the clearest view of the night skies, try to avoid street lighting and pollution and find a high vantage point, preferably in a rural area.
The shower, which is the final celestial event of the year, will peak tonight between 8pm and 2am.
It is caused by debris released as the Earth passes through the dust particles of the asteroid-like object 3200 Phaethon.
The debris - which travels at a speedy 21.75 miles per second - combusts as it enters the Earth's atmosphere, producing a kaleidoscope of red, white, yellow, green and blue lights.
The National Trust provides a list of the top spots across the UK to stargaze including:
- Black Down, Sussex
- Dunkery Beacon, Holnicote Estate, Exmoor
- Echo Mount, Knole, Kent
- Friar’s Crag, Lake District, Cumbria
- Godolphin Hill, Cornwall
- Hadley Heath, Surrey
- Lake District, Cumbria
- Mam Tor, Peak District
- Penbryn Beach, Cardigan
- South Milton Sands, Devon
- Divis Mountain, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Meanwhile it’s especially good news for astronomy buffs in the Channel Islands, with Sark being named the world’s first ‘dark sky island’, thanks to an absence of public street lighting and steps to limit light pollution.
Will you be stargazing tonight? Email your pictures, using the hashtag #geminids to firstname.lastname@example.org