This weekend, Earth is passing through a stream of debris from Apollo-type potentially hazardous asteroid 3200 Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower. More than 60 meteors per hour will light up the skies on the night of Dec. 13/14.
In parallel, on Monday, Dec. 14th, the New Moon will pass in front of the sun, producing a total eclipse in southern Chile and Argentina. Wow! can you imagine that?
Geminid meteor shower
The Geminid meteor lasts from December 4 to 17 and peaks in the night of Dec 13th/14th every year.
The Geminids is often one of the best annual showers of the year, with at least 60 fireballs per hour. On great years, you can even see more than 100 meteors an hour at peak of intensity.
I think those guys in Norway had the time of their lives. Look at the fireball flying across vivid northern lights! Just awesome!
The darker the sky, the more meteors you’ll see. And this is what we will have this year thanks to a perfectly-timed New Moon on Dec. 14th.
This picture was captured on Dec 12th over Puerto Rico. It features sprites and an amazing sequence of Geminid fireballs. Hopefully it will look the same tonight!
All annual meteor showers have comets as their sources, but not the Geminids. Astronomers know that 3200 Phaethon, an Apollo-type potentially hazardous asteroid with a diameter of 5.1 km, is the source of the Geminid meteor shower.
But what is 3200 Phaethon? A comet? An asteroid? Something in-between? Its curious nature keeps astronomers puzzling. – Earthsky
Total solar eclipse on December 14
On Monday, Dec. 14th, the New Moon will pass in front of the sun, producing a total eclipse in southern Chile and Argentina.
At maximum, the sun will be hidden for 2 minutes and 10 seconds, revealing the sun’s ghostly corona to onlookers inside the Moon’s shadow.
The sky will darken, a cool breeze will move across the landscape, and night birds will sing at midday. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a million.
But residents of Chile and Argentina will have a hard time reaching the path of totality as large parts of both countries, especially Chile, are experiencing travel restrictions and lockdowns.
If you are already planning your Christmas gifts, please buy with us on Amazon. The affiliate sales will help us to continue the hard work we are putting in this website.