Your Complete Guide to the December Cassiopeid Meteor Shower

2nd Dec 2023
Your Complete Guide to the December Cassiopeid Meteor Shower

At the beginning of December, the φ-Cassiopeid meteor shower is anticipated to grace the night sky with its breathtaking displays of shooting stars. But what exactly is the φ-Cassiopeid meteor shower, and what can you expect from this celestial phenomenon? We’ll give you all the details you need to know so you can fully appreciate this spectacular event when it occurs.

What Is the φ-Cassiopeid Meteor Shower?

The φ-Cassiopeid meteor shower is an annual astronomical event that occurs in the early days of December every year. This meteor shower is caused by the Earth’s orbit crossing the trail of debris left behind by the Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. As a result, when the small particles of debris from the comet collide with the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up, producing bright streaks of light that we know as shooting stars.

What Can You Expect to See?

meteor shower

The φ-Cassiopeid meteor shower is known for its fast and bright shooting stars that often produce persistent trails in the sky. On a good night, you can expect to see around 10-15 meteors per hour. However, the peak of the shower can produce up to 120 meteors per hour, although this is a rare occurrence. The shooting stars are visible to the naked eye, but it is best to watch under clear and dark skies without light pollution for the best view.

When & Where to Watch?

The December Phi Cassiopeiids are a recently discovered variable rate meteor shower. It will peak on 6 December, but some meteors should also be visible between 1 December and 8 December. They will radiate from the constellation of Cassiopeia at a very slow average speed of 16 km/s. They originate from an unknown Jupiter family comet.

To catch the best view, find a location with minimal light pollution and unobstructed night sky views. It is also recommended to give your eyes up to 20-30 minutes to adjust to the darkness for optimal viewing.

How to Prepare for Meteor Watching?

To make the most of your viewing experience, it is essential to dress appropriately for the weather and bring some equipment for added comfort. Bring blankets or warm clothing, as the temperature can drop at night, and a reclining chair or camp bed for comfortable stargazing. You can also bring binoculars or a telescope to enhance your view of the shooting stars, but they are not essential.

So, mark your calendars and get ready to witness an astronomical event that will take your breath away!

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