Have Yourself a Merry Little Meteor

The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks on December 13/14 and as expected it displayed a fascinating show in 2009. (Credit:  Babak A. Tafreshi, TWANight)

The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks on December 13/14 and as expected it displayed a fascinating show in 2009. (Credit: Babak A. Tafreshi, TWANight)

“The Geminids are expected to peak just before dawn on Dec. 14, with a predicted peak rate of 100 to 120 meteors per hour,” reports NASA.  Unlike most other meteor showers, the Geminids are not associated with a comet but rather the asteroid, 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a “rock comet” orbit.  This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet.  The asteroid takes about 1.4 years to orbit around the Sun.  (Credit: Wikipedia, Earth Sky, NASA)

Listen to Live Meteor Radar Echoes: http://topaz.streamguys.tv/~spaceweather/

Watch the Ustream feed from a telescope at Marshall Space Flight Center:

The Marshall Space Flight Center will host an overnight NASA web chat on Dec. 13 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. CST.  Join the chat at: http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/geminids_2014.html

Last December, Jason Hullinger went to Joshua Tree National Park to catch the Geminid meteor shower. He set up his tripod to take 20-second exposures from about 11 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday. (Credit: Jason Hullinger)

Last December, Jason Hullinger went to Joshua Tree National Park to catch the Geminid meteor shower. He set up his tripod to take 20-second exposures from about 11 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday. (Credit: Jason Hullinger)

The Geminids are considered to be one of the more spectacular meteor showers of the year!

Geminid meteors appear to emanate from a radiant point in the constellation Gemini, as shown in this sky chart. (Credit: Sky and Telescope)

Geminid meteors appear to emanate from a radiant point in the constellation Gemini, as shown in this sky chart. (Credit: Sky and Telescope)

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