Geminid Meteor Shower & Supermoon December 2016 Australia: How and when to best view these sky spectacles

By @ULB1N on
Meteorite
A meteorite creates a streak of light across the night sky over the North Yorkshire moors at Leaholm, near Whitby, northern England, April 26, 2015 Reuters/Steven Watt

Stargazers and meteor shower aficionados are sure to have their hands and eyes next week as a number of sky spectacles are going to line up for everyone’s viewing pleasure. While the Geminid meteor shower and the supermoon highlight 2016’s mid-December sky shows, other heavenly treats are also set to happen. Here are the must-see astronomical events from Dec. 13 to Dec. 16.

READ: New Zealand Earthquake 2016: Supermoon links, sky lighting up in colours

December 13 – The Aldebaran bull’s eye

The bright orange giant star Aldebaran will draw closer to the moon on Dec. 13. Aldebaran is the “eye” of the Taurus the bull constellation and also its brightest star. It is about 67 light years from Earth.

December 13 - Geminid Meteor Shower

The yearly Geminid shower produces an abundant 60 to 120 shooting stars per hour at peak periods. It will be best viewed on evenings before and after the peak, according to National Geographic. The supermoon may obscure stargazers’ view of the meteor shower to some extent, but the brightest streaks of light ought to stand out. Australians who wish to see the shower at its best should stay up late at around 2:00 a.m AEDT.

READ AGAIN: Supermoon November 2016 Australia: When and where to best view the biggest supermoon of the last 70 years

December 14 – Supermoon

A supermoon ensues as a result of the moon’s elliptical orbit where one side is approximately 30,000 miles closer to Earth than its other side. While last November’s extra-super moon was the closest full moon of the 21st century, this month’s spectacle will no doubt be just as visually stunning. The Dec. 14 supermoon will reach its full extent at around 11:05 a.m. AEDT, according to TimeAndDate.com.

December 16 – Moon and Beehive

The waning gibbous moon shall point the way to the Beehive star cluster in the Cancer constellation on Dec. 16, although it will be very hard to see. The cluster will look like a faint patch in the night sky without the use of binoculars or telescopes, so viewers are advised to bring their apparatus.

Join the Discussion