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Bright Moon photobombs Geminid meteor shower peak on 14 December

5 Dec 2019, 11:31 UTC
Bright Moon photobombs Geminid meteor shower peak on 14 December
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The rich and reliable Geminid meteor shower is active from 4–17 December and predicted to peak between 2h and 23h UT (2am and 11pm GMT) on Saturday the 14th this year. However, these bright and slow-moving shooting stars will have to compete with a waning gibbous Moon just two days after full some 12 degrees away from the radiant (the apparent point of origin for the meteors, which is an effect of perspective) near star Castor in the constellation of Gemini. Were it not for the Moon’s glare, you could expect to see a meteor every minute at the shower’s peak viewed from a rural location. AN graphic by Ade Ashford.For those devotees of celestial firework displays, December contains arguably the best of the three great annual shooting star displays – the Geminids (the other two are the Quadrantids in January and the August Perseids). This rich and reliable meteor shower is predicted to peak between the hours of 2am and 11pm GMT (02–23h UT) on Saturday, 14 December 2019.
Origin and visual appearance
The Geminids originate from debris shed by the mysterious crumbly “rock comet” 3200 Phaethon. Earth ploughs through swarms of these particles strewn along the comet’s orbit ...

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