Cool Facts About Geminids Meteor Shower

By on Dec 13, 2012 in Events | 0 comments

Maybe you can see one of these! Lets hope it doesn’t hit anything you care about!

 

Tonight and tomorrow night you will be able to see the Geminids meteor shower. It’s where we see a meteor shower pass through the constellation Gemini. You can see anywhere from 60-120 meteors per hour!

Here let’s get started with some interesting facts about why I LOVE the Geminids meteor shower:

 

1) An Unexplained Meteor Shower

Credit: B. E. Schmidt and S. C. Radcliffe of UCLA.

 

One mind boggling thing about this meteor shower is that it’s UNLIKE no other! Usually most meteor showers are caused by debris from comets passing by (far away). This one has a parent asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. You would think that it’s this strange rock that’s causing all these meteors but actually it only makes up a very small fraction. It’s very very strange. They believe that this rock might have been broken off another larger asteroid and all the debris may have came along for the ride. It’s still puzzling since there isn’t enough concrete evidence to figure it out. This asteroid was discovered in 1983 by NASA’s IRAS satellite. NASA astronomer Bill Cooke had this to say about his favorite meteor shower:

“Of all the debris streams Earth passes through every year, the Geminids’ is by far the most massive,” says Cooke. “When we add up the amount of dust in the Geminid stream, it outweighs other streams by factors of 5 to 500.”

 

It’s amazing to know that it still outweighs all the other meteor showers by that much!

 

 

2) Quite the Sight to See and Can Be Seen by All!

 

 

Some meteor showers can only be seen in the northern or southern hemisphere. Geminids can actually be seen by both hemispheres and actually has more meteors showing up in the lower atmosphere. Even the colors of these meteors will glow more vibrantly than other meteor showers. It’s quite the sight to see

 

 

3) Closet Approach of the Asteroid is in 2093!

 

The Geminids meteor shower was discovered in 1862 but the parent asteroid didn’t show up until 1983! The next closest approach, which will be a 3 million km approach, is in 2093.

 

Where to Look?

 

South East in the constellation of Gemini. This will be around 11 p.m and it can be seen earlier but the peak starts happening after 11 p.m.

 

Look up SOUTH EAST and watch the show

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Zain is a digital marketer (SEO) for a large brand and has an enormous passion for astronomy. In his spare time he volunteers for Penny4NASA.org, York University Observatory , and contributes to sites like Astronaut.com. He also loves to rock climb, take photos, and play / create music.

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