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Geminids Meteor Shower: 'Up All Night' With NASA!
Composite view of 2008 Geminid meteor shower False-color composite view of 2008 Geminid meteor shower. (NASA/MSFC/B. Cooke, NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office) View large image

More Information
Link: Asteroid Phaethon
NASA News: Meteors
NASA Worldbook: Meteors
Wikipedia: Geminids
The 2010 Geminid meteor shower has been a lively meteor shower with great views in the skies over Earth. Anytime between Dec. 12-16 is a valid window for Geminid-watching, but the night of Dec. 13-14 was the anticipated peak. On Monday, Dec. 13, meteor experts from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center answered your questions via afternoon and "up all night" Web chats.

› Afternoon Chat Transcript
› Overnight Chat Transcript

More About the Geminids

Geminids are pieces of debris from an object called 3200 Phaethon. Long thought to be an asteroid, Phaethon is now classified as an extinct comet. Basically it is the rocky skeleton of a comet that lost its ice after too many close encounters with the sun. Earth runs into a stream of debris from 3200 Phaethon every year in mid-December, causing meteors to fly from the constellation Gemini. When the Geminids first appeared in the late 19th century, shortly before the U.S. Civil War, the shower was weak and attracted little attention. There was no hint that it would ever become a major display.

More About the Chat Experts

Bill Cooke
Danielle Moser
Rhiannon Blaauw

Janet Anderson, 256-544-6162
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.