Athens, December 12, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Olga Mavrou
The Geminids are a meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a “rock comet” orbit. The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in the first 14 days of December and they peak on the night of the 13th recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time.
The meteors in this shower appear to come from a radiant in the constellation Gemini (hence the shower’s name). However, they can appear almost anywhere in the night sky. Well north of the equator, the radiant rises about sunset, reaching a usable elevation from the local evening hours onwards. The meteors travel at medium speed in relation to other showers, at about 22 miles per second, making them fairly easy to spot. The Geminids are now considered by many to be the most consistent and active annual shower. Geminids disintegrate while at heights above 38 kilometres.