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Topic: Meteor Shower

NASA says the Geminids are the Best Meteor Shower of the Year

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – NASA says the Geminids are widely recognized as the best annual meteor shower a stargazer can see, occurring between December 4th to December 17th, 2020 with the best nights for viewing on December 13th and 14th.

The parent of the Geminids is 3200 Phaethon, which is arguably considered to be either an asteroid or an extinct comet. When the Earth passes through trails of dust, or meteoroids, left by 3200 Phaethon, that dust burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, creating the Geminid meteor shower.

An info graphic based on 2019’s meteor camera data for the Geminids. (NASA)

An info graphic based on 2019’s meteor camera data for the Geminids. (NASA)

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NASA reports Geminid Meteor Shower to peak December 13th and 14th

 

Written by Molly Porter
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – Maybe you’ve already seen a bright meteor streak across the December sky? The annual Geminid meteor shower has arrived. It’s a good time to bundle up, go outside and let the universe blow your mind!

“With August’s Perseids obscured by bright moonlight, the Geminids will be the best shower this year,” said Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “The thin, waning crescent Moon won’t spoil the show.”

A Geminid meteor. (Image credit: Jimmy Westlake)

A Geminid meteor. (Image credit: Jimmy Westlake)

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NASA Spacecraft analyzes effects of Comet Flyby on Mar’s Atmosphere

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Two NASA and one European spacecraft that obtained the first up-close observations of a comet flyby of Mars on October 19th, have gathered new information about the basic properties of the comet’s nucleus and directly detected the effects on the Martian atmosphere.

Data from observations carried out by NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and a radar instrument on the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Mars Express spacecraft have revealed that debris from the comet added a temporary and very strong layer of ions to the ionosphere, the electrically charged layer high above Mars.

This artist's concept depicts the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on NASA's MAVEN spacecraft scanning the upper atmosphere of Mars. IUVS uses limb scans to map the chemical makeup and vertical structure across Mars' upper atmosphere. (NASA/Univ. of Colorado)

This artist’s concept depicts the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft scanning the upper atmosphere of Mars. IUVS uses limb scans to map the chemical makeup and vertical structure across Mars’ upper atmosphere. (NASA/Univ. of Colorado)

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NASA says look to the skies Saturday night for the Geminid Meteor Shower

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – 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: December 14th. And below it says: “Wake up at 4:00am for the Geminid meteor shower.”

“It’s going to be cold,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “But that is the best time to see the 2013 Geminid meteor shower.”

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NASA’s STEREO probes discovers Rock Comet’s Tail

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Astronomers have long been puzzled by a certain meteor shower.

Every year in mid-December the sky fills with flashes of light shooting out of the constellation Gemini. The Geminids are fast, bright, and reliable. They never fail to show up and many observers count them as the finest meteors of the year.

But where do they come from? That is the puzzle.

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NASA research shows Perseid meteor shower to peak August 12th and 13th

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Meteor showers have always captured peoples interests. In astronomy, there’s nothing quite like a bright meteor streaking across the glittering canopy of a moonless night sky. The unexpected flash of light adds a dash of magic to an ordinary walk under the stars.

New research by NASA has just identified the most magical nights of all.

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NASA Astronomers see large explosion on the Moon caused by a Meteor Strike

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington D.C. – For the past 8 years, NASA astronomers have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. “Lunar meteor showers” have turned out to be more common than anyone expected, with hundreds of detectable impacts occurring every year.

They’ve just seen the biggest explosion in the history of the program.

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NASA reports Comet could possibly Collide with Mars in 2014

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Over the years, the spacefaring nations of Earth have sent dozens of probes and rovers to explore Mars.  Today there are three active satellites circling the red planet while two rovers, Opportunity and Curiosity, wheel across the red sands below. Mars is dry, barren, and apparently lifeless.

Soon, those assets could find themselves exploring a very different kind of world.

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NASA reports Comet Wirtanen could produce New Meteor Shower in December on the same nights as Geminid Meteor Shower

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – If you’re outdoors after sunset this week, be alert for meteors. Not only is the Geminid meteor shower active as Earth passes through a stream of debris from “rock comet” 3200 Phaethon, but also, say forecasters, a new meteor shower could make an appearance.

“The source of the new shower is Comet Wirtanen,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “Dust from this comet hitting Earth’s atmosphere could produce as many as 30 meteors per hour.”

Comet Wirtanen. (Photo Max-Planck-Institut f|r Aeronomie, courtesy T. Credner, J. Jockers, T.Bonev)

Comet Wirtanen. (Photo Max-Planck-Institut f|r Aeronomie, courtesy T. Credner, J. Jockers, T.Bonev)

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NASA reports Geminid Meteor Shower to peak on December 13th and 14th

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Every year in mid-December, astronomers look up in the sky and witness a mystery. It announces itself with a flurry of shooting stars. For several nights in a row, dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour cut across the glistening constellations of winter, each one a little puzzle waiting to be solved.

“It’s the Geminid meteor shower–set to peak on December 13th and 14th,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “Although the Geminids come every year, we still don’t fully understand them.”

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