Geminid meteor shower to peak on 14th December 2009

Dec 03, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The annual Geminid meteor shower is predicted to peak at 0510 GMT on 14th December. Meteors (or ‘shooting stars’) are the result of small particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed, heating up and then disintegrating.

The superheated air around them appears as a short-lived streak of light that quickly fades from view.

In this shower the meteors appear to emanate from a point in the constellation of , hence the name Geminid and are associated with the asteroid Phaethon, suspected to be an extinct comet. This year the peak of the shower is just two days before New Moon, so moonlight will not interfere with our view of the meteors.

Under ideal conditions, with a clear sky and far away from the lights of towns and cities, it may be possible to see more than 100 each hour which could make the Geminids one of the best astronomical sights of 2009.

Provided by British National Space Centre

Explore further: Best evidence yet for coronal heating theory detected by NASA sounding rocket

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Asteroid Shower

Dec 03, 2007

Mark your calendar: The best meteor shower of 2007 peaks on Friday, December 14th.

Perseid Meteor Shower To Peak Aug. 12

Aug 07, 2008

The annual Perseid meteor shower will be visible in the night sky throughout Colorado and will peak during the early morning hours of Aug. 12, according to an astronomy expert at the University of Colorado ...

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tuesday, Aug. 12

Aug 07, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- It's time once again for nature to put on its late-summer fireworks show: the Perseid meteor shower. This year's best viewing will be before dawn on Aug. 12, with a second chance after sunset ...

The best meteor shower of 2004 peaks on Dec. 13th

Dec 10, 2004

by Dr. Tony Phillips Make hot cocoa. Bundle up. Tell your friends: the best meteor shower of 2004 is about to peak on a long cold December night. It's the Geminids. The best time to look is Monday night, Dec. ...

Recommended for you

Rosetta measures comet's temperature

13 hours ago

(Phys.org) —ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, finding that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.

How Rosetta arrives at a comet

16 hours ago

After travelling nearly 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System, ESA's Rosetta is closing in on its target. But how does a spacecraft actually arrive at a comet?

Lunar occultation of Saturn

16 hours ago

On the night of Monday August 4, mainland Australia will see Saturn disappear behind the moon. It's the third time this year that the moon and Saturn will perfectly line up, as viewed from our part of the ...

User comments : 0