2012 Geminid meteor shower

2012-geminid-meteor-shower

Last night Earth passed through a stream of dusty debris from Comet 3200 Phaethon and sky observers around globe witnessed amazing Geminid meteor shower, with more than 120 meteors per hour at the peak.

Earth now slowly exits 3200 Phaethon’s debris stream and the meteor shower is subsiding, however sky observers will have another show this night (with less meteors visible).

The graph below shows the ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate), which is the number of meteors an observer would see under a very dark sky with the radiant of the shower in zenith. ZHRmax = 132 based on 4198 Geminids reported in 406 intervals, assuming population index r = 2.2 The graph shows the ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate), which is the number of meteors an observer would see under a very dark sky with the radiant of the shower in zenith. ZHRmax = 132 based on 4198 Geminids reported in 406 intervals, assuming population index r = 2.2 (Credit: International Meteor Organization) Credit: ©Dennis Mammana/dennismammana.comAstrophotographer Dennis Mammana caught a Geminid fireball streaking near the stars of Orion. Geminid fireball streaking near the stars of Orion (Credit: ©Dennis Mammana) Taken by Dennis Sherrod on December 14, 2012 @ Approximately 4.5 miles NW of Springville, AL. facing almost due East at 01:29 A.M. Taken by Dennis Sherrod on December 14, 2012 @ Approximately 4.5 miles NW of Springville, AL. facing almost due East at 01:29 A.M. (Credit:  Dennis Sherrod/SpaceWeather)

 

According to International Meteor Organization, the peak has shown slight signs of variability in its rates and timing in recent years, with the more reliably reported maxima during the past two decades all having occurred within Lambda=261.5° to 262.4°, 2012 December 13, 7h to December 14, 4h UTC. Near-peak rates usually persist for almost a day, so much of the world has the chance to enjoy something of the Geminids’ best.

Geminids sky map (Credit: SpaceWeather) Geminids sky map (Credit: SpaceWeather)

Geminids 2012: visual data quicklook (IMO)

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Featured image: An epic Geminid fireball photographed from the crest of Mount Magazine, Arkansas on December 13, 2012 (Credit: Brian Emfinger)

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