Geminids meteor shower peaks this week under dark skies | Tech News

Geminids meteor shower peaks this week under dark skies

The year’s best meteor shower, the Geminids, peaks this week. Skygazers may see as many as one or even two a minute streaking across dark skies.

By:AP
| Updated on: Dec 16 2023, 14:17 IST
Unraveling Cosmic Secrets: Astrophysicist finds spherules of inter-stellar meteorite
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1/5 Scientists are in constant search of cosmic secrets. This time they may have stumbled upon a big secret - a meteorite from outside the solar system. In a groundbreaking expedition that spanned over 10 days, Harvard University astrophysicist Avi Loeb and his team embarked on a voyage that could forever change our understanding of extraterrestrial encounters.  (NASA/JPL)
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2/5 According to a report by  space.com, Loeb's journey took him to the ocean floor off Papua New Guinea.  His expedition aimed to unravel the mysteries surrounding metallic spherules, tiny orbs barely larger than a pinhead, scattered across the sea's depths. These minuscule spheres are believed to have originated from what could be the first-ever interstellar meteorite to impact Earth. With more than 700 of these spherules now under scrutiny, Loeb is on the brink of rewriting the narrative of interstellar exploration. (Pixabay)
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3/5 The significance of this discovery lies not only in its potential to reshape our understanding of space debris but also in the trail of clues left behind by the meteorite's journey. Loeb's meticulous work included cross-referencing Department of Defense tracking data with seismic readings from nearby locations.   (NASA)
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4/5 Through this multifaceted approach, he successfully pinpointed the meteorite's entry location in the vast expanse of the South Pacific. If these spherules demonstrate a significant departure from known solar system materials or terrestrial contaminants, it could potentially validate their interstellar origin. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Should their analysis confirm the interstellar origin of these spherules, it would mark an unprecedented leap in our understanding of the cosmos. This would be only the third time in history that scientists officially accept the discovery of interstellar objects. Oumuamua, an interstellar asteroid, and Comet Borisov marked the previous instances.  (NASA/JPL/Cornell)
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The meteors will reach their frenzy on Thursday. But Wednesday night should provide a cosmic spectacle as well. (NASA)

 The year's best meteor shower, the Geminids, peaks this week. Skygazers may see as many as one or even two a minute streaking across dark skies.

The meteors will reach their frenzy Thursday. But Wednesday night should provide a cosmic spectacle as well.

The moon is waning so that will make for prime viewing anywhere in the world where skies are clear and in spots without light pollution.

NASA urged observers to look everywhere in the sky since meteors don't come from any particular direction. Between 60 and 120 meteors are expected every hour at peak time, weather permitting.

NASA meteoroid expert Bill Cooke said he loves that the Geminids have a greenish hue as they speed across the sky and burn up. Most meteors appear to be colorless or white depending on their chemical makeup. Green usually comes from oxygen, magnesium and nickel.

Most meteor showers originate from comets. But the Geminids come from the sun-orbiting asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Either way, when Earth passes through these leftover bits of comets or asteroids, the fragments encounter Earth's atmosphere and put on quite the show.

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First Published Date: 16 Dec, 14:16 IST
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