The Geminids are a prolific meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon,[4] which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid[5] with a "rock comet" orbit.[6] This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet. The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around December 4–16, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of December 14. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time. Geminids were first observed in 1862,[1] much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids (36 AD) and Leonids (902 AD).

Geminids (GEM)
Geminids.jpg
The Geminids meteor shower as seen from the Northern Hemisphere, in December 2013
Pronunciation/ˈɛmənədz/
Discovery date1862[1]
Radiant
ConstellationGemini (near Castor)
Right ascension07h 28m [2]
Declination+32°[2]
Properties
Occurs duringDecember 4 – December 17[2]
Date of peakDecember 14[2]
Velocity35[3] km/s
Zenithal hourly rate120[2]
See also: List of meteor showers

RadiantEdit

 
A Geminid meteor in 2007, seen from San Francisco
 
Asteroid (3200) Phaethon, parent body of the Geminids, imaged on December 25, 2010 with the 37 cm F14 Cassegrain telescope of Winer Observatory, Sonoita (MPC 857)

The meteors in this shower appear to come from the radiant in the constellation Gemini (hence the shower's name). However, they can appear almost anywhere in the night sky, and often appear yellowish in hue. Well north of the equator, the radiant rises about sunset, reaching a usable elevation from the local evening hours onwards. In the southern hemisphere, the radiant appears only around local midnight or so. Observers in the northern hemisphere will see higher Geminid rates as the radiant is higher in the sky.[7] The meteors travel at medium speed in relation to other showers, at about 22 miles per second (35 km/s), making them fairly easy to spot. The Geminids are now considered by many to be the most consistent and active annual shower. Geminids disintegrate while at heights above 24 miles (39 km).[8]

 
Animated GIF of a Geminid meteor falling earthwards
Year Peak of shower ZHRmax Lunar phase[9]
2006 December 14 115[10] 33% waning crescent
2007 December 15 122[11] 30% waxing crescent
2008 December 14 139[12] 95% full moon
2009 December 13 120[13] 9% new moon
2010 December 14 127[14] 59% first quarter
2011 December 14 198[15] 86% waning gibbous
2012 December 14[3] 109[16] 2% new moon
2013 December 14[17] 134[18] 92% full moon
2014 December 14[19] 253[20] 50% last quarter
2015 December 14 120[21] 10% waxing crescent
2016 December 13 25[22] 100% full moon
2017 December 14 145[23] 13% waning crescent
2018 December 14 125±9[24] 41% waxing crescent
2019 December 14 120[25] 94% waning gibbous
2020 December 13 120[26] 2% waning crescent
2021 December 13 125±25[27] 73% waxing gibbous

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Gary W. Kronk. "Observing the Geminids". Meteor Showers Online. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e Moore, Patrick; Rees, Robin (2011), Patrick Moore's Data Book of Astronomy (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 275, ISBN 978-0-521-89935-2.
  3. ^ a b "IMO Meteor Shower Calendar 2012: Geminids (GEM)". International Meteor Organization. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  4. ^ Brian G. Marsden (1983-10-25). "IAUC 3881: 1983 TB and the Geminid Meteors; 1983 SA; KR Aur (Circular No. 3881)". Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  5. ^ Victoria Jaggard (2010-10-12). "Exploding Clays Drive Geminids Sky Show?". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
  6. ^ Jewitt, David; Li, Jing (2010). "Activity in Geminid Parent (3200) Phaethon". The Astronomical Journal. 140 (5): 1519–1527. arXiv:1009.2710. Bibcode:2010AJ....140.1519J. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/140/5/1519.
  7. ^ "Radiant (Northern vs Southern)". NASA Meteor Watch on Facebook. 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
  8. ^ "NASA All Sky Fireball Network: Geminid End Heights". NASA Meteor Watch on Facebook. 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  9. ^ "Moongiant". www.moongiant.com.
  10. ^ "Geminids 2006: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. 2007-04-25. Archived from the original on 2012-12-24. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  11. ^ "Geminids 2007: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. 2008-08-10. Archived from the original on 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  12. ^ "Geminids 2008: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. 2009-01-02. Archived from the original on 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  13. ^ "Geminids 2009: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. 2010-04-19. Archived from the original on 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  14. ^ "Geminids 2010: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. 2012-09-19. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  15. ^ "Geminids 2011: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. 2012-01-18. Archived from the original on 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  16. ^ "Geminids 2012: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. 2012-12-21. Archived from the original on 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  17. ^ "IMO Meteor Shower Calendar 2013: Geminids (GEM)". International Meteor Organization. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  18. ^ "Geminids 2013: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. 2013-12-21. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
  19. ^ "IMO Meteor Shower Calendar 2014 - Geminids". International Meteor Organization. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Geminids 2014: visual data quicklook". International Meteor Organization. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Meteor Showers 2015". NASA.
  22. ^ Lunsford, Robert. "Viewing the Geminid Meteor Shower in 2016". AMS.
  23. ^ Antier, Karl. "Impressive 2017 Geminids!". IMO.
  24. ^ Miskotte, Koen. "The Geminids of 2018: an analysis of visual observations". Meteor News.
  25. ^ Dickinson, David. "December Meteor Squalls: Prospects for the 2019 Geminids and Ursids". Universe Today.
  26. ^ Rice, Doyle. "The Geminid meteor shower, famous for producing fireballs, peaks this weekend". USA TODAY.
  27. ^ "Best meteor shower of the year: Geminids peak tonight, boasting 100-150 shooting stars". ABC7 San Francisco. December 12, 2021.

External linksEdit