Geminids Meteor Shower To Peak December 13, 2012

weatherguyalStarred Page By weatherguyal, 11th Dec 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Science

The best meteor shower of the year is here this week.

Best of the year

The Geminids meteor shower will peak this week on Thursday, December 13. These meteors will appear to have their origin in the constellation Gemini. What makes them so special is their origin. Unlike most meteor showers that are the result of debris from a comet, the Geminids are debris from an asteroid. This means that the particles are more dense, making them last longer when the pass through the atmosphere.

The asteriod, known as 3200 Phaethon, has left astronomers puzzled as to how so much debris could be shed by an asteroid. One leading theory is that 3200 Phaethon was struck by object, breaking off many small pieces. Another theory says it could be a piece of the much larger asteroid Pallas.

How to see it

For the best viewing, find a dark area away from city lights after 10 pm. Looking to the East, find the constellation Gemini. The meteors will radiate from the area of the sky. If the local forecast is for cloudy skies that night, you still don't have to miss the fun. Geminids meteors can be seen as early as December 8, and as late as December 18. The peak is on the night of December 13/14, when it is possible to observe 50 - 80 meteors per hour (only 20 in the Southern Hemisphere). Good luck and good viewing.

Tags

3200 Phaethon, Asteriods, Constellation, Gemini, Geminids, Meteors, Pallas

Meet the author

author avatar weatherguyal
I have a B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Arizona. I enjoy gardening and hiking.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th Dec 2012 (#)

Nature gives us so much to enjoy - never a dull moment! siva

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