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Watch the Spectacular Geminids 2020

 

The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks on the night of December 13-14, 2020 which is Sunday evening to Monday morning.

These colorful meteors tend to be bright, so on a dark night, you can easily spot 50 or more meteors per hour.

TheĀ GeminidsĀ are a prolificĀ meteor showerĀ caused by the objectĀ 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be aĀ Palladian asteroidĀ with a “rockĀ comet” orbit.

This would make the Geminids, together with theĀ Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from aĀ comet. TheĀ meteorsĀ from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around December 6ā€“14, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of December 14. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120ā€“160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time.

Geminids were first observed in 1862,Ā much more recently than other showers such as theĀ PerseidsĀ (36 AD) andĀ LeonidsĀ (902 AD).

The meteors in this shower appear to come from theĀ radiantĀ in the constellationĀ GeminiĀ whichn is why they are called the Geminidsā€¦ However, they can appear almost anywhere in the night sky, and often appear yellowish in hue.

Well north of the equator, the radiant rises about sunset, reaching a usable elevation from the local evening hours onwards.

In the southern hemisphere, the radiant appears only around local midnight or so. Observers in the northern hemisphere will see higher Geminid rates as the radiant is higher in the sky.

The meteors travel at medium speed in relation to other showers, at about 22 miles per second (35Ā km/s), making them fairly easy to spot.

The Geminids are now considered by many to be the most consistent and active annual shower. Geminids disintegrate while at heights above 24 miles (39Ā km).

Source: Wikipedia, Earth-Sky

More reading: https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-geminid-meteor-shower

Science

 

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