Tag Archive: Geminid


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Published on Dec 13, 2013

Large Solar Flares. Earth Will start passing thru this trail on Jan 12th thru the 19th.

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Spaceweather.com

by Dr. Tony Phillips.

GEMINID METEOR SHOWER–IT’S UNDERWAY:

  This sharp uptick in activity signals the official beginning of the 2013 Geminid meteor shower. For the next 3 to 4 days, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from rock comet 3200 Phaethon, producing dozens of meteors per hour flying out of the contellation Gemini. “There is a nice show going on right now,” says Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.

The multiple cameras of NASA’s fireball network are able to measure the orbits of Geminid meteoroids. This plot shows the orbits of the 39 fireballs recorded so far this week:

Earth is the blue dot where all the orbits intersect. The purple curve shows the path of Geminid parent 3200 Phaethon.

Forecasters expect the shower to peak on Dec. 13-14 when Earth passes through the busiest part of Phaethon’s debris stream. Peak rates could reach 120 meteors per hour. However, glare from the nearly-full Moon could reduce the number of visible meteors 2- to 3-fold. Cooke advises looking during the hours just before local sunrise on Saturday, Dec. 14th. “At that time, the Moon will be below the horizon, improving your chances of seeing the show.”

You can listen to radar echoes from the Geminids, unaffected by moonlight, on Space Weather Radio. Also, tune into NASA’s live web chat about the Geminids on Friday the 13th beginning at 11 pm EST.

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Geminid meteor shower will light up Friday night sky

Geminid meteor photographed over Steamboat Springs, Colo., on Dec. 12, 2010 Jimmy Westlak

More than 100 meteors will rocket across the sky on the night of Dec. 13 and early morning hours of the 14th. Visible from almost any point on Earth, it’s the peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower.

The most intense meteor shower of the year, the Geminid features between 100 and 120 meteors per hour at its peak, traveling about 78,000 miles per hour. The full shower lasts from Dec. 12-16.

“The Geminids are my favorite because they defy explanation,” said Bill Cooke, lead for NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, in a press release. “Of all the debris streams Earth passes through every year, the Geminids are by far the most massive. When we add up the amount of dust in the Geminid stream, it outweighs other streams by factors of 5 to 500.”

While most meteor showers are a collection of meteorids spewed from comets, the Geminid meteor shower features fragments and dusty debris of a “weird rocky object named 3200 Phaethon,” according to NASA.

 

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Published on Dec 10, 2013

 
 
 

Published on Dec 9, 2013

Lovejoy’s Tail suffers a disconnect.

 
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NBC News/science

Geminid meteor shower set to peak, but moon might curtail viewing

Dec. 9, 2013 at 6:26 PM ET

Geminid

SkyandTelescope.com
This chart shows the radiant point for the Geminid meteor shower.

This week marks the peak of what is usually considered the most satisfying of all annual meteor displays: the Geminid meteor shower.

As was the case with last month’s Leonid meteor shower, however, prospective skywatchers should be aware that once again, observers will face a major obstacle in their attempt to see this year’s Geminid performance, namely, the moon.

Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the moon will turn full on Dec. 17, and as such, will seriously hamper viewing the peak of the Geminids, predicted to occur in the overnight hours of this Friday to Saturday. Bright moonlight will flood the sky through much of that night, playing havoc with any serious attempts to observe the usually spectacular meteor shower. [See amazing photos of the 2012 Geminid meteor shower]

The Geminids are already around, having been active only in a very weak and scattered form since about Dec. 7. Geminid activity is expected to be on an upswing in the nights to come, leading up to their peak on Friday night.

Historically, this shower has a reputation for being rich both in slow, bright, meteors as well as rather faint meteors, with relatively few of medium brightness. Many Geminid meteor shower streaks appear yellowish in hue. Every once in a while, a Geminid fireball will blaze forth, bright enough to be quite spectacular and more than capable of attracting attention even in bright moonlight.

“If you have not yet seen a mighty Geminid fireball arcing gracefully across an expanse of sky, then you have not seen a meteor,” astronomers David Levy and Stephen Edberg wrote in their book, “Observe Meteors,” published by the Astronomical League.

Dark sky opportunities
The best times to look for streaking Geminids this year will be during the predawn hours several mornings before the night of full moon when the constellation Gemini will be standing high in the northwest sky. 

Geminid1

Joe Rao / Space.com
l times in this chart are a.m. and are local standard times. “MS” is the time of moonset. “Dawn” is the time when morning (astronomical) twilight begins. “Win” is the available window of dark sky composed of the number of minutes between the time of moonset and the start of twilight.

In fact, three “windows” of dark skies will be available between moonset and the first light of dawn on the mornings of Dec. 13, 14 and 15. Generally speaking, there will be about two hours of completely dark skies available on the morning of Dec. 13. This window shrinks to only about an hour on the 14th, and to less than 10 minutes by the morning of the 15th.

 
 
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