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Geminid Meteor Shower

It has not been confirmed what causes this shower, although the planet-crossing asteroid 3200 Phaethon does move in the same orbit as the dust stream. It may be possible that Phaethon is an extinct cometary core. Meteors from the Geminid shower may be visible from December 8 through 16 with the peak occurring December 13/14. Meteors from the Geminid shower are yellowish in color and average a magnitude of 2.5. The meteor hourly rates may range from 60 to possibly 100 or more at the shower's peak. The Geminid hourly rates tend to increase steadily for several days before maximum, then drop off quickly in the days following. The meteors will appear to originate from a point in the sky near the star Castor in Gemini (RA 7 hrs 28 min, Dec +32°), high in the eastern sky after 9pm.


James M. Thomas, last updated October 11, 1999.

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