December 14, 2014 - SPACE - The Geminids shooting stars have reached their brightest point this weekend, and will continue shining vividly until the middle of next week in the Northern Hemisphere.
Last night was the best time to enjoy the Geminids meteor shower, which has been lighting up the skies above the US, the EU and Russia since last weekend. The meteoric performance will continue until Tuesday or Wednesday evening, according to NASA.
The meteor activity was busiest in the small hours, with up to 150 meteors per hour. 2 – 3 a.m. local time is the time when the radiant – the place where the meteors originate from – is overhead. One should gaze at the radiant near the bright star, Castor, in the Gemini constellation that give their name to the meteor shower.
"The Geminids are very strange because they hit Earth sideways," Slooh telescope astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. "It’s the difference between being in a car and slamming head on into somebody as opposed to someone backing into you sideways. These meteors hit us gently.”
The spectacular Geminids are highly anticipated every year, and since they were first seen in the 1860s they have been getting even brighter, according to observers.
What is remarkable about them is that they can shine in different colors - usually it’s white, but yellow, blue, green and red can also be spotted.
WATCH: NASA's ScienceCasts - Embers from a Comet.
WATCH: Geminids Meteor Shower - Hawaii 2014.
The rather slow-moving Geminid meteors originate from the 3200 Phaethon asteroid. Along with the Quadrantids, they are the only major meteor showers that don’t come from a comet. - RT.