Geminid meteor shower to peak on December 13

Last Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 16:00

Texas: An U.S magazine, StarDate, has said that the Geminid meteor shower will be at its best on December 13.

While most meteor showers can be frustratingly unpredictable, the Geminids are one of the most reliable. Given clear skies, they consistently delight meteor watchers.

This year, skywatchers can expect to see dozens of meteors per hour, rising to more than 100 meteors per hour at the showers predicted peak at 9 p.m. CST.

The tiny sliver of the waning crescent Moon will not overpower any meteors.
Geminid meteors appear to fall from near the star Castor, one of the lheads? of the constellation Gemini, the twins. The meteors are not actually related to Castor; they are debris from an asteroid called Phaethon. The shower recurs each year when Earth passes through this debris strung along Phaethonas orbit around the Sun.
The Geminid shower was the first to be linked to an asteroid. Most meteor showers occur when Earth crosses the orbit of a comet. Though the Geminid shower was discovered in the 1860s, it was only in 1983 that astronomers identified Phaethon as the showeras source.


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First Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 16:00

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