Geminid Meteor Shower

Dec 12, 2012

On Thursday, December 13th, the whole world can experience the wonder of Mother Nature together.

The Geminid meteor shower will begin in the late evening of Thursday and continue until dawn. Earthsky states that “as a general rule, the shower intensifies after midnight and produces the greatest number of meteors for a few hours, centered around 2 a.m., (which) is true no matter where you are around the globe. The Geminids are a reliable and prolific shower, offering perhaps 50 meteors per hour in a dark sky.”

This meteor shower is named after the constellation Gemini the Twins, as they “appear to radiate from the central point of Gemini.”

Most meteor showers take place when our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of a comet. The comet debris plunges into Earth’s upper atmosphere, and the vaporizing particles fill the night with meteors. But the Geminid meteor shower appears to be an oddity. The shower’s parent body appears to be a near-Earth asteroid, rather than a comet. Astronomers have named this object 3200 Phaethon. (Earthsky) says that the best viewing is 40 miles away from city lights. “After sunset, face generally east and look halfway up. Around midnight, look generally overhead. After midnight, when you’re mostly likely to see the most shooting stars, move your gaze to high in the western sky.”

They also declare that “alcohol interferes with the eye’s dark adaption as well as the visual perception of events,” so they suggest bringing nonalcoholic beverages to wherever you are watching. Thumbs up or down? What do you think? Either way, bundle up, get comfortable, and enjoy!

1 Response for “Geminid Meteor Shower”

  1. […] Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks December 13-14 2012 | FEATURED | Hometown Pasadena | Was a little bit of activity earlier tonight, but there's supposed to be quite a big shower this evening.   […]



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