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Geminid meteors shower the skies

16 December 2017

While the 2017 Geminid meteor shower turned out quite nice for some, the view was less than ideal in our region thanks to a sluggish deck of high clouds that very slowly broke up through the night across the southern half of Texas. In prime conditions, it is possible to see over 100 meteors per hour on the night it peaks.

The Geminid meteor shower is so named because the meteors appear to originate from the constellation of Gemini in the night sky. "The show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse". She wrote: "I saw many, many handsome meteors..."

Linda Cook in Manzanita, Oregon wrote: "I saw several small, shorter lasting Geminid meteors & then this one came as though right at me- large and lovely!"

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The asteroid, a three-mile-wide rock called 3200 Phaethon, will remain a comfortable 6.4 million miles away. The best time to see the meteor shower will be on December 14 between 1 am and 2 am, when the Gemini constellation will be nearly overhead.

The meteor shower typically occurs in mid-December each year, when the Earth passes through a cloud of cosmic dust left behind by an asteroid collision.

The bright object could be seen from various parts of the metro, but most calls came from the west side of town. Gemini's meteors enter Earth's atmosphere traveling at about 22 kilometers per second.

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'I was very pleased to capture this one, which I have confirmed as a definite Geminid as it comes from the radiant'.

3200 Phaethon has puzzled scientists because it has features of both an asteroid and a comet.

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