Geminids Meteor Shower

Geminids Meteor Shower Meteor Showers

Geminids Quick Facts

Geminds Meteor Shower Dates: December 4-17
Peak Dates: Mid-December
Peak Meteor Showers: 120 under perfect conditions
Best Viewing Times: All night during peak starting at 9-10pm
Originating Constellation: Gemini

Summary

Although not as well known nor is weather as necessarily as good in the Pacific Northwest, the Geminids Meteor Shower are a prolific meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a “rock comet” orbit.

This distinguishes the Geminids and the Quadrantids as 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 6–14, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of December 14.

The shower is thought to be intensifying with recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 2:00am to 3:00am locally. Geminids Meteor Shower were first observed in 1862, which is much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids and Leonids.

Unfortunately the nearly full moon will block out many of the meteors, as will be the case in 2019. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Other great articles can be found at the Seattle Times.

It looks like the NASA Parker Space Probe was able to image the dusty trail of debris that causes the Geminid meteor shower, which can be read more about in this excellent space.com article.

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