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Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:38 am

The Geminid meteor shower is known as the most active meteor shower of the year, boasting 100 to 150 meteors per hour.

This year, however, the meteor shower peaks only a few days before the December full moon on Dec. 18, meaning the bright moonlight may interfere with viewing any of the dazzling meteors.

The Geminids are named after the constellation Gemini, from which they appear to originate.

The green-colored meteors are fragments of a cosmic object known as 3200 Phaethon, which leaves a debris trail as it orbits around the sun.

Once a year, Earth passes through the object's dusty path, creating a spectacular meteor display that can be seen by most of the world.


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Post by Dragon Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:51 am

It's time for the Geminids, the annual December meteor shower!

Every year, Earth passes through the debris trail from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.

The pea-sized rocks it leaves behind burn up in our atmosphere, producing glowing trails in the night sky.

People around the world will stare skyward and marvel at these meteors, also known as shooting stars.

What we can't see with the naked eye is the steady rain of much smaller meteoroids, often called cosmic dust, that bombards our atmosphere every day of the year.

Produced when asteroids collide or comets are vaporized by the Sun, some of this material burns up when it enters the atmosphere, just like the Geminids but on a much smaller scale.

About 55 miles above Earth, the miniscule fireballs leave a puff of even tinier particles, called meteoric smoke.

The particles stick to each other and grow like tiny snowballs as they fall to Earth over several years.


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Post by Dragon Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:53 am



Meteor Smoke Makes Strange Clouds

A key ingredient of Earth's strangest clouds does not come from Earth.

New data from NASA's AIM spacecraft proves that "meteor smoke" is essential to the formation of noctilucent clouds.


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Post by Dragon Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:58 am

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Exsomnis

Noctilucent clouds during arctic dawn seen from high altitude

Noctilucent clouds, or night shining clouds, are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere of Earth.

They consist of ice crystals and are only visible during astronomical twilight.

Noctilucent roughly means "night shining" in Latin.


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