Google Dedicates Doodle To Gemini Meteor Shower
Google on Thursday dedicated a special doodle to the Gemini Meteor Shower. In the hours before sunrise on Friday, the most meteors will be visible in the North American sky. According to NASA, this will be the last and strongest meteor shower of the year.
The Geminid Meteor Shower 2018 will light up the sky on the night of December 13. The spectacular meteor showers are brought to the Earth’s atmosphere every December by an asteroid called Phaethon, satellite data discovered 35 years ago. The asteroid named after Greek God Apollo’s son, 3200 Phaethon’s orbit brings it closer to our sun than Mercury.
Although the Geminid shower is known for its “shooting stars,” the number of meteors visible depends on the time and how dark it is. Early evening meteors maybe longer, with dramatic streaks that last several seconds. Later on, the meteors will present quicker streaks or leave trails of smoke that appear to glow.
Phaethon was discovered in October 1983 and named after the Greek myth about the son of Helios, the sun god, because it closely approaches our sun.
Phaethon orbits the sun closer than any other asteroid and takes 1.4 years to orbit it. The asteroid heats to about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit on closest approach to the sun, which causes it to shed dusty debris.
These particles cause the meteor shower when they plunge into Earth’s atmosphere at 22 miles per second, vaporizing in the streaks we call “shooting stars.