APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:20 am

Image Geminids and Friends

Explanation: From a radiant in the constellation of the Twins, the annual Geminid meteor shower rained down on our fair planet this week. This beautiful skyscape collects about 70 of Gemini's lovely shooting stars in a digital composition made from multiple exposures. The exposures were taken over a six hour period near the shower's peak. The camera was tracking the dark predawn sky on December 14 from Teide National Park on the Canary Island Tenerife. Though Gemini lies off the top left of the frame, the Milky Way sweeps through the starry background. Sharing the sky below and left of center are recognizable stars and nebulosities of Orion. A yellowish Aldebaran and the Hyades are toward the right along with the Pleiades star cluster. Also a welcome visitor to this night sky, the faint green coma of Comet 46P Wirtanen, closest to Earth this weekend, lies below the Pleiades stars. Dust swept up from the orbit of active asteroid 3200 Phaethon, Gemini's meteors enter Earth's atmosphere traveling at about 35 kilometers per second.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 10801
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Post by Ann » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:00 am

That's really cool! :D

Look at all the familiar sights in this wintry skyscape. There are all the nebulas of Orion, Barnard's Loop, The Lambda Orionis nebula, The Sigma Orionis Nebula and a lot of non-Orion nebulas like The Rosette Nebula and many others.

Orion and the Eridanus Loop (center right).
Photo: Ondrej Králik
But we can also see the Eridanus Loop at center right! We hardly ever see that one in photographs. But we can see it in today's APOD, just as we can see it in Ondrej Králik's picture!

I can't show you today's APOD here, because it is too big. But note, in Daniel López' image, how the California Nebula, the Pleiades and the comet line up perfectly in the righthand part of the picture! Beautiful!

That's a delightful APOD! :D

Ann
Color Commentator

De58te
Science Officer
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:35 pm

Re: APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Post by De58te » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:41 am

Just as predictable last night here in the Greater Toronto Area was grey and overcast with 40% chance of rain or freezing drizzle. This happened just the same last year, and the year before, and the year before. In fact I can't remember ever being able to see a meteor shower in the month of December my entire life.

heehaw

Re: APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Post by heehaw » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:18 pm

De58te wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:41 am
Just as predictable last night here in the Greater Toronto Area was grey and overcast with 40% chance of rain or freezing drizzle. This happened just the same last year, and the year before, and the year before. In fact I can't remember ever being able to see a meteor shower in the month of December my entire life.
Poor old Toronto! So far north that Torontonians never see much of the sky; and worse, the David Dunlap Observatory was built, you guessed it, NORTH of Toronto (well, Lake Ontario is to the south!) so astronomers had to look directly above the direction to that rapidly-growing major city to see, for example, most globular clusters: which were the exact focus of interest of Helen Sawyer Hogg (who was a great and wonderful astronomer).

BDanielMayfield
Don't bring me down
Posts: 2490
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:24 am
AKA: Bruce
Location: East Idaho

Re: APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:09 pm

Why are the meteor streaks colorless while everything else is full color?
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 10801
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Post by Ann » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:45 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:09 pm
Why are the meteor streaks colorless while everything else is full color?
APOD Robot wrote:

This beautiful skyscape collects about 70 of Gemini's lovely shooting stars in a digital composition made from multiple exposures.
So the filters, presumably, were different for the background skyscape and the meteors. And it seems quite certain that the exposure times were different.

Ann
Color Commentator

BDanielMayfield
Don't bring me down
Posts: 2490
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:24 am
AKA: Bruce
Location: East Idaho

Re: APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:41 pm

It's an artistic choice Ann, and not a bad one to be sure, but we usually see these meteor shower shots with colorful streaks in photos. Here, we see the meteors as we often see them with our eyes, but the background sky as we never see it.

Bruce
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 10801
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Geminids and Friends (2018 Dec 15)

Post by Ann » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:48 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:41 pm
It's an artistic choice Ann, and not a bad one to be sure, but we usually see these meteor shower shots with colorful streaks in photos. Here, we see the meteors as we often see them with our eyes, but the background sky as we never see it.

Bruce
You are right, of course, and the colors of meteors are not unimportant.

The colors of meteors mean something. (Colors usually mean something, in my opinion.) :wink:

Ann
Color Commentator