Every year around mid-December, as usual, meteors from the Geminid meteor shower appear in the eastern sky. The focus of the meteors will be in the constellation Gemini. The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most frequent meteor showers of the year.
The peak of this year: the night of December 13 to the morning of December 14, 2017.
Source: Asteroid 3200 Phaethon.
Frequency: 50-120 striae/hour (depending on viewing conditions)
GEMINIDS Meteor Shower Origins.
Unlike the annual periodic meteor showers which originate from the debris left behind by comets crossing Earth’s orbit, the Geminid meteor shower originates from an asteroid called 3200 Pheathon – is a celestial body approximately 5 km in diameter with a period orbital around the sun of 1.4 years.
TIME OF OPERATION.
The Geminids meteor shower appears in two bright stars in the sky, Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini (Gemini), which is also the origin of the Geminids name for this meteor shower. Gemini will be in the east before midnight and will peak around 1am. The ideal time to view this meteor shower is from the night of December 13 to the morning of December 14 (2017) with a peak at 2 a.m. on December 14. The frequency is approximately more than 120 striae/hour.
As comets approach the Sun, rising temperatures cause matter from the comet to evaporate and under pressure from the solar wind, creating tails of dust, ice and gas. Small particles of dust and ice released by the comet are scattered around its orbit. When the Earth, in its orbit around the Sun, enters this dusty zone at any time of the year, there will be meteor showers. Geminids began to appear in the middle of the 19th century, leading to the mystery of its origin, it was not until 1983 that this mystery was solved by NASA when it discovered that the object 3200 Phaethon was probably the one which caused this famous meteor shower.
INSTRUCTIONS AND NOTES WHEN OBSERVATIONS.
In this observation, according to observers, the light of the Moon will not be too inconvenient for observation because the position of the constellation is far from the Moon. To facilitate observation, you must choose a ventilated observation place, largely unaffected by artificial light and air pollution. You won’t need any supporting equipment to observe this meteor shower, just use naked eye to see them, but you need to prepare tools for night observation such as warm blankets, mosquito repellent, drinking water… Also, if you have a telescope, or binoculars to observe other objects, it is also very good.
In the cold winter night, there’s nothing better than a hot cup of coffee, with a relaxed hand in hand and a friend watching the meteor. Wishing you astronomy enthusiasts a warm winter night under sparkling skies filled with Geminid meteors!