Archive for December 10, 2020

12/10/2020 – Ephemeris – The Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak Sunday evening and Monday Morning December 13/14, 2020

December 10, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, December 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 5:02 pm which will signal the beginning of the Jewish feast of Chanukah. Sunrise tomorrow will be at 8:10 am. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:13 tomorrow morning.

The Geminid meteor shower, the most active meteor shower of the year will be at its most active Sunday night and Monday morning. This year the Moon will be new on Monday and won’t interfere. Our problem is that it’s December, one of the cloudiest months of the year. The Geminid meteors will seem to come from near the star Castor, the second brightest star in Gemini. The actual source of the meteors is the asteroid or rock comet Phaethon. If it is an asteroid it comes closest to the Sun of any asteroid. It has been observed by spacecraft shedding dust when it’s heated near the Sun. It is probably a dead comet.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


December 2020 evening star chart

Star Chart for 7 pm, or about 2 hours after sunset. December 13, 2020. Click on image to enlarge. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program. 

Geminid Radiant 1 am Dec 14, 2020

All sky chart of the Geminid Radiant 1 am, or about 7 hours after sunset, Dec 14, 2020. Click on image to enlarge.

Geminid Radiant 6 am Dec 14, 2020

All sky chart of the Geminid Radiant 6 am, or about 2 hours before sunrise, Dec 14, 2020. Click on image to enlarge.