The Geminid Starfall, which is observed from December 7 to December 17 this year, will peak after midnight on Sunday night. This was reported to TASS on Saturday by the press service of the Moscow Planetarium.
The Geminids are one of the most powerful starfalls of the year, featuring white and bright meteors. During peak activity, their number can reach 120 meteors per hour. The Geminid radiant is located near the bright star Castor in the constellation Gemini, from which the meteor shower is named.
“The radiant rises above the horizon at about 2 am local time, so the most favorable conditions for observation are after midnight. For northern observers, the Geminid radiant rises in the early evening and very soon reaches a 'useful' height. about 32 km / s, the planetarium told TASS.
The progenitor of the Geminids is not a comet, but an object discovered in 1983 with an infrared space telescope and named 3200 Phaethon. It cannot be called a comet, since it has neither a coma (clouds of dust and gas) nor a tail. Phaeton occupies an intermediate position between asteroids and comets.
"The conditions for observing the Geminids in 2019 are unfavorable. The full moon, which will also be located on the night of the peak near the Geminid radiant, will significantly interfere with the observation of meteors," the press service noted.