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Geminids and Ursids meteor shower will reach peak activity in December

Added Sun, 27/11/2022
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Sun, 27/11/2022
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The Geminid and Ursid meteor showers will reach their maximum activity on the night of December 14 and December 22, respectively. This was reported to TASS by the press service of the Moscow Planetarium.

Geminids are one of the most powerful annual meteor showers. It is valid from December 4 to December 17. On the night of December 13-14, astronomers predict the peak of starfall activity. The meteor departure area (radiant) will be located near the star Castor in the constellation Gemini.

"According to the forecasts of the International Meteor Organization, up to 150 meteors per hour are expected. Geminid meteors are white and bright. They can fall very often. <...> The conditions for observing Geminids in 2022 are unfavorable. The moon is close to the last quarter and will interfere with the observation of meteors," the planetarium clarified, adding that the flow rate will be low - about 35 km/s.

The Ursida flow observed from December 17 to 27 will reach its maximum activity on the longest night of the year - from December 21 to December 22. It will be seen only in the Northern Hemisphere.

"In terms of the speed of meteor flight, the stream is very similar to Geminids, but in terms of brightness and frequency, its meteors are much weaker. <...> Up to 10 meteors per hour are expected. <...> The radiant is located near the North Pole, in the constellation Ursa Minor. For observers from the Southern Hemisphere, Ursids are not visible," the astronomers also explained.

Scientists called the conditions of observation of Ursid in 2022 favorable. The moon, tending to the new moon (December 23), will not interfere with observations.

Among the December astronomical events is the eclipse of Mars by the Moon, which will coincide with the opposition of Mars and the full moon. Such coverage of planets by the Moon is always short-term - the duration of the eclipse does not exceed one hour.

"On the morning of December, three astronomical events will occur at once: the full moon, the opposition of Mars and the covering of Mars by the full Moon. All three phenomena will occur in the morning, almost at the same time from 7:00 to 9:00 Moscow time," the planetarium said.

The brilliance of Mars at this time will be the maximum for a two-year period, which will create favorable conditions for observing the event.

The Moon's coverage of Mars will be visible from the northern and eastern regions of the European part of Russia, except for the southeastern regions, where the Moon and Mars will already go over the horizon, the scientists explained. In Moscow, the Moon will cover Mars in the morning from 7:58 to 8:37 Moscow time. The planets will be located very low above the northwest horizon. Because of this, it is almost impossible to see the phenomenon in Moscow, the representatives of the planetarium concluded. 

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