The Geminids meteor shower, usually one of the best meteor showers of the year, peaks during the night of December 13-14, 2016. The shower produces up to 100-150 meteors per hour in a dark sky.
Join Slooh for a live show during which we enjoy live feeds from partner observatories of Geminid meteors and discuss this remarkable annual celestial event.
The Geminids sometimes rivals the August Perseid meteor shower for total numbers of meteors. They occur when Earth passes through a debris stream from the strange body 3200 Phaeton, which is either a rocky and defunct comet or an asteroid. This help explain why the Geminids are so bright… they’re little pieces of mostly rocky material which take longer to burn up as they fall into the atmosphere, whereas most meteor showers are caused by softer, icier debris from comets.
This year the meteors will be battling a Full Moon, so we’ll be on a bit of a hunt, but it should still be one of the best celestial shows of the year.
The Geminids show up as mostly white and yellow, with perhaps 10% of Geminid meteors showing red, blue, or red. Geminids trace their path back to a point in the constellation Gemini near the bright star Castor. You can usually see more meteors when the radiant is higher in the sky. Since Gemini is one of the northernmost zodiacal constellations, the radiant is much higher in the northern hemisphere and more meteors are visible. But some Geminids are visible from the southern hemisphere too.
If you don’t want to stand in the cold and dark to see the Geminds, join Slooh on December 13, 2016 to learn more about meteors and see this major meteor shower through our partner observatory feeds.