Latest Phaethon Stories
As arctic air and record cold sweeps across the USA, amateur astronomers are looking at their calendars with a degree of trepidation. A date is circled: Dec. 14th. And below it says: "Wake up at 4 AM for the Geminid meteor shower."
Now, just in time for the holidays, the annual Geminid meteor shower is on our doorstep, promising to offer a show that may last up to several days. And while it may not be as impressive as ISON was, it is expected to be one of the most intense meteor showers of the year.
Observations have shown that Phaethon's tail becomes so hot when it approaches the sun that rocks on the surface crack and crumble to dust under the extreme heat.
Meteor showers are fascinating events - streaks of light across the darkness of night. While such displays struck fear into our ancestors, they provide wonderful entertainment today.
The Geminids meteor shower is expected to be an amazing display of natural fireworks and is expected to start on December 13 and 14, ending the year with a bang.
The 2011 Geminid meteor shower peaks on the night of Dec. 13-14, and despite the glare of a nearly-full Moon, it might be a good show.
Monday evening and Tuesday morning will provide the peak time to enjoy the 2010 Geminid meteor shower.
On the evening of Dec 13 and the morning of Dec 14, skywatchers across the northern hemisphere will be looking up as the Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak, in one of the best night sky events of the year.
Most meteor showers come from comets, which spew ample meteoroids for a night of 'shooting stars,' but the Geminids are different.
The best meteor shower of 2009 is about to fall over North America on a long, cold December night.
- Withering but not falling off, as a blossom that persists on a twig after flowering.