Your guide to catching a glimpse of the spectacular free meteor show over Norwich
PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 December 2014
It set the Norwich sky and Twitter alight – and now we reveal how you can best enjoy the meteor shower.
The chilly outlook
The next five days look good for stargazers as cloud cover looks to be minimal.
Tonight, Friday and Saturday nights look to see clear skies with ample opportunity to catch the meteor shower. Thursday is set to be cloudy.
Those keen to catch a glimpse of a shooting
star are advised to wrap up warm as little cloud cover spells a chilling bout.
The region could experience “raw” winds of up to 45mph over the next few days as wintry storms make their way across Britain.
Here, temperatures are expected to be above freezing for the next two nights and around 6C to 7C in the day.
Questions have been shooting around cyberspace over what the bright flash of light over Norwich was.
A lightning strike to RAF planes was suggested – but south Norfolk astronomer Mark Thompson, 41, said Monday night’s sightings could have been a meteor as the peak of the Geminid meteor shower was approaching.
The flashes of blue and white were reported from the A140 near Long Stratton, at Thickthorn near Norwich, over the A47 at Postwick, near Stockton on the A146, over Little Melton, at Lenwade near Dereham, over Aylsham and Buxton, near Dunston Hall, over Sprowston Road and at North Walsham.
Share your weather pictures by signing up to iWitness at http://norfolk.iwitness24.co.uk or email them to email@example.com The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most spectacular events in any stargazer’s calendar.
To catch a glimpse of the shower, head somewhere with as little light pollution as possible, and once you’ve settled on a spot, look up and try and take in as much of the sky as possible, making sure it’s a clear night.
If it is, you should wrap up warm and head outside with sleeping bags and hot water bottles for at least 30 minutes to get used to the darkness.
You don’t need binoculars or a telescope to see the showers – they will limit your view, instead just stare at the sky.
And don’t lose heart if you don’t see anything for a while – the meteors tend to come in spurts interspersed with lulls and appear randomly.
The shower takes place every December as the Earth passes through a debris trail from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.
As the bits of debris from the asteroid crash through the Earth’s upper atmosphere they vaporise, turning into the colourful Geminid meteor shower.
The first reports of the shower emerged in the mid-1800s, but there were only 10-20 meteors per hour.
This shower started on Sunday December 7, and peaks on December 13 and 14 when the moon is starting to wane.
There’s not much to see in the early evening, but things start to get more exciting from around 10pm, with the best time to spot a shooting star between 2am and 3am.