-  Thursday 22 October 2020


 -  Shyam Krishna KHAKUREL

Dec 12 2008 - One of the best meteor showers of the year the Geminids are expected to exhibit consistently prolific flashes of shooting stars in the night of 07 to 17 December 2008. Circa sixty to one hundred streaks of tiny particles that burn up fairly seventy kilometers high above earth’s surface as they slam through our atmosphere with speeds of approximately thirty five kilometers per second could be admirably observed in the southern sky from well after mid-night. Since the streaming meteor shower seems to be emanating from a point alias radiant in the sky lying vividly near glittering star Castor (Kasturi) in the zodiacal constellation Gemini (twins), it is conventionally identified as famed Geminid Meteor Shower. The origin of this moderately swift Geminid Meteor Shower is linked to mysterious object called Phaethon-3200 that looks like cross between a weird asteroid and quaintly burned-out comet.

The shower peaks at 4:45 a.m. on Sunday, 14th December 2008. Star gazers can enjoy the shower after the mid night of December 13 to before sunrise on 14th December because the shower’s radiant is fairly high in the southern sky at its peak time. The glare from moonlight highly disturbs while watching Geminids, because of the moon is almost full and near the radiant.

Comets generally unleash streams of dusty debris as they approach the Sun. When earth, speeding around its orbit, crosses some of these streams, we see the stunning meteor showers or dazzling shooting stars. However the Geminid meteor shower results from broken fragments from oddly pseudo asteroid-comet Phaethon-3200 with mysterious composition, which possesses an extremely elliptical 1.4-year-long orbit around our Sun and it is described as dormant comet coated with thick layer of dust. It is bereft of the characteristic comet tail and its spectra indicate peculiar rocky surface. Meteors created as Phaethon-3200 advances toward the Sun are arguably much denser than those usually created by comets. The Geminids were first noticed only 150 years ago even though other meteor showers like Leonids and Perseids had been documented in details for centuries. Geminids are thought to be intensifying each year.

The ringed planet Saturn is delightfully glittering below stars Castor and Pollux (Punarvasu) of Gemini.

Other articles by reporter Shyam Krishna KHAKUREL

How could any of this be btteer stated? It couldnt.

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