Feeds

Geminids warm up for annual light show

Conditions promising for meteor shower spectacular

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

This year's Geminid meteor shower looks set to be a good 'un for European stargazers, with hopefully clear skies coupled with a slim waxing crescent Moon offering ideal conditions for the lightshow.

According to New Scientist, the Geminids should peak at around 1745 GMT tomorrow. Observers in Asia are advised to look skywards during the night of 14-15 December, while those in North and South America, although the peak occurs during daylight, should get "a few dozen meteors per hour" just before dawn tomorrow.

The Geminids - which appear to come from the constellation Gemini - are unusual in that they are caused by debris from 3200 Phaethon, a 5km-wide possible asteroid first spied in 1983 by NASA's Infrared Astronomical Satellite.

While other meteor showers are fuelled by debris expelled from comets during their closest encounters with the sun, 3200 Phaethon lacks a tail. Accordingly, scientists speculate its debris trail may have been caused by a collision with another body.

On the other hand, it's possible 3200 Phaethon is a spent comet which has lost all of its ice, in which case the Geminids represent the ghostly remains of its former tail. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.