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Geminids - A Great December Spectacle #924922
12/05/17 11:24 AM
12/05/17 11:24 AM
Joined: May 2010
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Imagine the scene: a starry night in mid-December. As your eyes begin to adjust to the darkness, you start to see movement in the sky. At some point you definitely see a shooting star – properly called a meteor. Welcome to what many people think is the year's best meteor shower, the Geminids.

Geminids – a December Spectacle

The shower is expected to peak this year on the night of December 13/14.


Mona Evans
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Re: Geminids - A Great December Spectacle [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #924961
12/06/17 08:43 PM
12/06/17 08:43 PM
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The American Meteor Society says about viewing the Geminids:
Quote:
The Geminid meteor shower is the favorite of most meteor observers as it usually provides the strongest display of the year. On the peak night (December 13/14) between the hours of 1:00 and 2:00am local standard time (LST), an observer located in mid-northern latitudes under clear skies has the opportunity to view at least 75 Geminid meteors.


Mona Evans
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Re: Geminids - A Great December Spectacle [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #924988
12/08/17 03:17 AM
12/08/17 03:17 AM
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Feast your eyes on this exquisite image of Geminid Meteors over Xinglong Observatory. Alas, you won't see a whole skyful of meteors during a shower, but this composite picture shows that the meteors look as though they're coming from the constellation Gemini – that is the radiant. Castor and Pollux shine brightly in the upper left. In the upper right, there's also a very bright Orion lying on his side.

Image Credit & Copyright: Steed Yu and NightChina.net


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Re: Geminids - A Great December Spectacle [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #925020
12/09/17 07:03 PM
12/09/17 07:03 PM
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Sky & Telescope's Bob King says of the Geminids: "This is it, the shower we've been waiting for." It's the most prolific shower of the year and the Moon won't interfere with in.

He adds:
Quote:
Most major showers peak in the early morning hours. While that's also true of the Geminids, the shower offers something others don't: an evening matinee. You can spot a modest number of meteors visible starting as early as 9 p.m. because the radiant already stands some 30° high in the eastern sky. A fair number of shower members are cut off by the horizon at that time, but more of us are likely to go out and share it with our children in the evening as opposed to waking before dawn. Since Geminids travel at moderate to slow speeds and approach us from a low angle at that hour, they can produce brilliant and long-lasting fireballs.


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Re: Geminids - A Great December Spectacle [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #925075
12/12/17 07:19 PM
12/12/17 07:19 PM
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Advice from the British Society for Popular Astronomy:
Quote:
Weather permitting, 2017 should be a great year for observing the Geminids, with peak activity due to occur during the night of Dec 13-14 (Wed-Thurs). Geminid rates will also be quite high during the night of Dec 12-13 and also fairly good during the nights of Dec 11-12 and Dec 14-15, but do be aware that rates drop off quite steeply in the nights after maximum.

Geminid meteors can be seen at any time of the night, with the numbers seen increasing as the evening progresses and peaking at around 2am local time.

A good fraction of Geminid meteors are bright. With their parent object, 3200 Phaethon, being an asteroid rather than a comet, the particles that produce the Geminid meteors tend to be more robust and thus Geminid meteors, though still brief, tend to last slightly longer than those from other meteor showers ... giving observers a better view. Many observers also note brighter Geminids to be yellow-green in colour.

Remember to wrap up well.

The number of meteors seen is rather sensitive to the darkness of the sky background, so aim to observe from a location that is as dark as possible, has a clear view of the sky and is somewhere where you won't be disturbed and won't disturb others.

Don't look directly at Gemini. Any Geminid meteors that appear there will be approaching you almost head-on and so will have very short paths against the sky background.


Mona Evans
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Re: Geminids - A Great December Spectacle [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #925128
12/15/17 08:10 PM
12/15/17 08:10 PM
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Veteran meteor observer Eliot Herman in Tucson, Arizona reported to EarthSky,“The Geminids are good.” He this Geminid fireball on the morning of December 14 around 4 a.m. It looks as though it's zipping down past Orion.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 12/16/17 05:03 AM.

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Re: Geminids - A Great December Spectacle [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #925135
12/16/17 05:06 AM
12/16/17 05:06 AM
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Linda Cook in Manzanita, Oregon sent EarthSky this image of a Geminid fireball. She said, “I saw several small, shorter lasting Geminid meteors and then this one came as though right at me – large and beautiful! I was so excited!”


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Re: Geminids - A Great December Spectacle [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #925160
12/17/17 01:26 PM
12/17/17 01:26 PM
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The Geminids are created by the debris from rock-comet 3200 Phaeton which whizzed by Earth last night (December 16).

At its closest it was 6.4 million miles (10.3 million km) away.It is classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid. That's partly because 3200 Phaethon is big enough to cause significant damage if it were to strike Earth. However its close approaches so far haven't been a danger. Yesterday's was the closest since its discovery and it was still 26 times farther away than the Moon.

However I didn't find it comforting to be told that "there are no fewer than 30 objects that’ll come closer than 3200 Phaethon". Um. So Phaeton probably won't ever hit us, but . . . .


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Re: Geminids - A Great December Spectacle [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #925191
12/18/17 04:04 PM
12/18/17 04:04 PM
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Four Geminids flash through northern skies in this wintry night skyscape. The bright fireball and 3 fainter meteors were captured in a single 10 second exposure, near the peak of December's Geminid meteor shower. Reflecting the fireball's greenish light, a partially frozen Lake Edith in Alberta Canada's Jasper National Park lies in the foreground, with the Canadian Rocky Mountains ranging along the northern horizon.

Image Credit & Copyright: Jack Fusco
Description: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)


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