Monday , January 18 2021

The jet meteor shower and the bright comet make a super sky show



More than 100 meteors are recorded in this composite image made at the top of the "Gene" meteor shower in 2014.

NASA / MSFC / Daniel Moser

December is a month when dedicated skywatchers have to sacrifice comfort to take on some beauty. As winter cold strikes most of the northern hemisphere, the reliable Geminid meteor shower reaches tops in the middle of the month rewarding those who want to unite and head for the night.

"With the lunar atmosphere just before midnight, conditions should be ideal for the classic meteorite gemini this year," says Soloch Paul Cox, an astronomer, in a statement.

But this year brings a bonus for observation: the peak of the geinids comes on Thursday and Friday evening, just as in the brightest comet of the year, 46P / Wirtanenis expected to come historically only a few days later on December 16th.

This remarkable video, shot by Joe Lawton from Gerald, Missouri, shows that Fedidan fired with a fountain in the background:

Today's gemini happens every year at this time when Earth passes through the huge cloud of remains left by the site 3200 Phaethon, a strange blue asteroid that may have disappeared from a comet,

"Feeton travels around the sun's rays every 17 months, leaving behind a trail of debris," Cox explains. "When the Earth passes through the path, the meteorites with the size of sand beads evaporate in our atmosphere as spectacular meteors."

Gemini are there with the Australian Persians to produce a nice amount of fireballs and other bright stripes in the sky. You can expect to catch 100 to 150 per hour with clear sky and limited light pollution.

To check out the show, Bill Kue from NASA's Environmental Weather Station recommends waiting until the moon falls around 10:30. local time before you go outside without your mobile phone because its screen may confuse your night vision.

"Lying evenly on your back and looking up as you grab as much heaven as possible, you will soon begin to see Geinid meteorites as the night progresses, Geminid's speed will increase, reaching a theoretical maximum of about 100 per hour around 2 am"

For a little help with the Wirtanen comet, NASA offers the comfortable picture below to look for the luminous green ball of light, probably located somewhat higher in the sky than the star Aldebaran near the Taurus bull constellation.

Schedule showing the location of the geminid Geminid and Comet 46P / Wirtanen for 35 degrees North latitude at 10:30. on the night of Gemini peak (December 13th).

NASA

Cook offers to take a binocular or a small telescope out to try to get a better look.

If time does not co-operate, wherever you are, you can still visually view the show via the Slooh Observatory online Thursday starting at 15:00. PT.

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