The Geminid meteor shower will be a force to be reckoned with this year, and has already started with an almighty bang over Britain at 5:35pm on Wednesday evening, December 8th, 2010.

A Geminid meteor fireball, about the size of a football, left a green streak of light along the entire length of Britain, and is a foretaste perhaps of what will be one of the most spectacular Geminid meteor showers in recent years, with upwards of 60 explosions per hour.

A total lunar eclipse will also make for great viewing around December 13th and 14th. The best viewing will be when the Gemini constellation is overhead, and can start as early as 9-10pm, but keep your eyes peeled as they travel at 35 kilometers (22 miles) per second. NASA also hopes to have a network of cameras to record the Geminids for those want to stay in bed.

The Geminid meteor shower does not come from comet fragments, but rather from other space objects. However nobody knows for sure. One suggestion is that the Geminids are debris from 3200 Phaethon which is a 5km (3.2mile) diameter mini-asteroid that broke of from 544km (310mile) diameter asteroid Pallas (shown impacted in the image), but that this does not explain the vast quantity of Geminids that enter and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Via SpaceDaily, NASA JPL & NASA

Via:www.greenmuze. соm

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