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Incredible opening act of Geminids meteor lights illuminates the sky over Mexico City – Dec 10, 2018



Mexican astronomers were treated as the largest maker of curtains for the dazzling cosmic-light show expected to light up the night sky later this week.

A brilliant ball of green light struck Mexico in the early hours of Saturday morning, dazzling viewers below.

The meteor could be seen flying through the skies of Acapulco and Mexico City.

The president of the Acapulco Astronomical Association, Rodolfo Cobos Arriaga, told the local mast El Sol de Acapulco that the meteor could be traveling at about 20,000 kilometers per hour.

He said the exact dimensions of the meteor were difficult to determine but speculated it could have a diameter of 500 meters, making it large enough for those below to "enjoy the flash of light."

Videos of the show flooded social media with the vision of Jorge Diaz Henry in New Mexico, drawing more than 15,000 views after it was posted on Facebook.

Cosmic Curtain Launcher

The impressive display was a precursor to the Geminids meteor shower, scheduled for the peak on the morning of December 15.

After that, the 46P / Wirtanen, known as the "Christmas comet", the brightest comet of the year, will arrive.

It will be closer to Earth in the late evening of December 16 (or early in the morning of December 17 if you are in the AEDT time zone).

46P / Wirtanen resonates with the Sun every five years, but it is usually too far for us to see.

However, this year it will surpass Earth about 11.5 million kilometers away – which is quite close to cosmic standards.

The comet is already visible to those with binoculars, but will be brighter between December 14 and December 18.

Astrologer Dylan O'Neill took 46P / Wirtanen photos earlier this month in his backyard in Byron Bay.

"The coma is particularly bright right now," he said.

At its brightest point, the comet will be the equivalent of two weaker stars we can see in the Southern Cross.

It will be another 20 years before the comet is so close to Earth again.

ABC


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