9 December 2008

Geminids 2008

Yet another Meteor Showers. This one is called Geminids. These meteors appear to out of the constellation Gemini, just as Leonids did from the constellation Leo. It can be viewed between December 8th till December 17. But it peaks on December 13-14.

Best time to look out for Geminids is from 9pm on December 13th till sunrise on December 14th. It peaks at about 100 meteors an hour. On non-peak days, you may only spot about 10 an hour. Geminids are one of the best shower of the year. These meteors originated in a mysterious object called 3200 Phaethon, which looks like a cross between an asteroid and a burned-out comet. Each time Earth reaches this point in space, the debris falls into the atmosphere causing the meteors.

Where to look? Look at the entire sky during the time. It can appear anywhere. Its direction would be away from Gemini. For those who feel safe to know the location of Gemini, the constellation is exactly where the moon is on December 13th. And yes! Its a full moon. The bright full moon may block most of the meteors. Hence, you can only see the bright meteors. All the dull meteors will be shunt by the bright light of the moon. So look at the entire sky, best being around the moon.

Click Here to see the position of the moon over Gemini and also how the meteors appear from the constellation. The red "X" on the picture is the radiant of the shower. Radiant is a point from where the meteors appear to move from. No meteor will be visible at the radiant. It only appears to move away from it.

5 comments:

Kavin said...

I hope that I should see a meteor atleast this time.. lets see whether I am lucky enough to see atleast a few...

Inchara Prakash said...

I too hope so... None of my friends has seen yet :(

Inchara Prakash said...

I just hope there are no clouds...

Vivek said...

dont worry...there will be no clouds..there better be not any! :P

i have seen a shower...long time back though! (vaguely remember it but i think i saw gemenids...not sure)

private said...

I saw 2 last night while driving home at 10PM....bright with a long train. So cool!