Geminids Meteor Shower:
In 2022, the Geminids will peak around December 13-14.
- Geminids comes from the constellation Gemini, from whose location in the sky the meteor shower appears to originate.
- The constellation for which a meteor shower is named only serves to aid viewers in determining which shower they are viewing on a given night.
- Meteors are usually fragments of comets.
- As they enter the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed, they burn up, creating a spectacular “shower”.
- The constellation is not the source of the meteors.
- If their peak coincides with the new moon, and if the weather is clear, the Geminids can produce approximately 100-150 meteors per hour for viewing.
- This year however, the moon is bright, and so only 30-40 meteors per hour will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere.
- The Geminids are unique because unlike most meteor showers, they originate not from a comet, but from an asteroid, the 3200 Phaethon.
- The 3200 Phaethon was discovered on October 11, 1983.
- It is named after the Greek mythology character Phaethon, son of the Sun God Helios.
- It takes 1.4 years to complete one round of the Sun.
- As the 3200 Phaethon moves close to the Sun while orbiting it, the rocks on its surface heat up and break off.
- When the Earth passes through the trail of this debris, the Geminids are caused.