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).
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 2012: visual data quicklook (IMO)
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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