Technology: What Is the Geminid Meteor Shower? - PressFrom - US

TechnologyWhat Is the Geminid Meteor Shower?

16:16  13 december  2018
16:16  13 december  2018 Source:

Leonid meteor shower coming to a sky near you this weekend

Leonid meteor shower coming to a sky near you this weekend Be sure to keep an eye to the sky this weekend: The peak of the Leonid meteor shower will be visible across the night sky Saturday and Sunday.

The famous Geminid meteor shower will sling bright shooting stars this winter, though a just-past-full moon will make all but the brightest hard to see. The Geminids are considered one of the best meteor showers every year because the individual meteors are bright, and they come fast and furious.

The Geminid meteor shower will put on a fantastic show the evening of Thursday, December 13! There will be very little moonlight interference this Most meteor showers require you to wait until midnight for the best viewing. When is the Geminid Meteor Shower ? The Geminids occur every

What Is the Geminid Meteor Shower?© DESIREE MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images A general view of the Geminid meteor shower in the National Park of El Teide on the Spanish canary island of Tenerife on December 13, 2012. Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the spectacular Geminid meteor shower, which peaks tonight and tomorrow night.

This celestial event is caused by a stream of cosmic debris (known as meteoroids) falling into the Earth’s atmosphere at around 80,000 miles per hour, lighting up the sky with brightly colored streaks—all of which appear to originate from the constellation Gemini (hence the name).

Luckily for us, most of these meteoroids are smaller than a grain of sand, meaning they will usually burn up and disintegrate before they reach the Earth’s surface.

Geminid meteor shower: How and when to watch on Thursday and Friday

Geminid meteor shower: How and when to watch on Thursday and Friday The Geminid meteor shower peaks this week, so hope for clear skies that will let you see a beautiful show of green fireballs on Thursday and Friday. This will be the last -- and strongest -- meteor shower of the year, according to NASA. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); This phenomenon was first recorded in 1862 and causes a show each December. In the hours before sunrise Friday, the most meteors will be visible in the North American sky, peaking about 7:30 a.m. ET, predicts Sky & Telescope.

One of the best meteor showers of 2017 peaks on Dec. 13, and spectators of the Geminid meteor shower can expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour shoot

The annual Geminids is likely to be the best meteor shower of 2018 and is set to give eager skywatchers a spectacular show in the night sky. The shooting stars will be the last of 2018’s major showers and is expected to be the most intense Geminid meteor shower of all times.

The cosmic debris that causes the Geminids comes from a strange object called 3200 Phaethon, which is named after the son of the ancient Greek god Apollo.

3200 Phaethon is an unusual 3.6-mile-long asteroid that is sometimes described as a “rock comet”—a rare type of small Solar System body that has characteristics of both an asteroid and a comet. First discovered via satellite data 35 years ago, it has a wildly eccentric orbit, quite unlike most asteroids, which brings the object closer to the Sun than Mercury. As it approaches the star, extreme heat causes the rock to fracture, leaving a trail of debris in its path.

“At its furthest point from the center of the solar system, 3200 Phaethon enters the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, around 223 million miles from the Sun,” Samantha Rolfe, an astrobiologist at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K., wrote for The Conversation. “At its closest point, it’s 13 million miles away—a mere stone’s throw from the Sun, in astronomical terms. Here, the asteroid can bake in temperatures up to 750 degrees Celsius.”

The year's brightest comet streaks by Earth this weekend

The year's brightest comet streaks by Earth this weekend The night sky will come alive this weekend when a green comet streaks by Earth on the heels of the Geminid meteor shower's display of green fireballs. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Comet 46P/Wirtanen began brightening in November, but it will make its closest approach to Earth on Sunday and be visible with the naked eye. The comet will come within 7 million miles of Earth -- a proximity that won't happen again for 20 years. That's 30 times the moon's distance from us.

The Geminids meteor shower , expected to peak late tonight and early Friday, promises to be the astronomical apex of 2018. Many experts say the Geminids shower is the best one each year because it faithfully produces dozens, and as many as 160, meteors per hour.

What is the Geminid meteor shower ? Most meteor showers are caused by comets - huge clumps of ice - but the Geminids are different. The Geminid meteors originate from a rocky asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon. Each year, the Earth passes through a trail of debris left by the asteroid as it orbits

“The extreme variations in temperature experienced by 3200 Phaethon, together with a very short day of just 3.6 hours and regular close encounters with the Sun, causes the asteroid to shed dust and debris at a rate great enough that dust tails have been observed,” Rolfe wrote. “This, and other observations, have led some astronomers to describe this object as a comet or a “rock comet," somewhat blurring the line between asteroids and comets.”

Every December, Earth’s own orbit takes the planet through Phaethon’s debris trail, giving rise to the meteor shower. Together with the Quadrantids, the Geminids are the only meteor showers that do not originate from a comet.

The Geminids were first observed in 1862—much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids (36 A.D.) and Leonids (902 A.D.)—and are thought to be intensifying with each passing year. In fact, in recent times, between 120 and 160 meteors have been recorded burning up in the Earth's atmosphere every hour.

As such, 2018 should be the best year ever to watch the Geminids if the weather is clear where you are. The meteors should be most visible around midnight on December 13 and 14, although you may be able to catch a glimpse of the cosmic debris right up until the 17th. For optimal viewing conditions, get as far away as possible from light city lights and face south.

A meteorite may have struck western Cuba, National Weather Service says.
The explosion reported in Viñales, Cuba, is not confirmed to be from a meteorite, but the government is investigating.

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