Unlike all other meteor showers, which originate from comets, Geminids originate from asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Seeing a large number of meteors last night, I noticed they seemed to be much more green than other meteors, but is there anything else I should expect to see different to other meteor showers? Brightness, size, length of trail etc?


Well done on your observations, I've been completely clouded out.

You are quite right, the Geminids are noted for a variety of colours, and a good number of fireballs, though most observers note a predominiance of yellow meteors This is partly due to their composition and density (coming from a peculiar "rock comet") and partly to their velocity (35km/s) which is fairly fast.

There is a good chance of seeing some good trails with this shower. Brighter meteors and most fireballs will leave a trail, and the Geminids have more of these than most other showers.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The night of the 12th was perfectly clear here, and about -2 degrees, so it was nice to sit out and watch. Round about 2 a minute for the first hour or so then maybe 3 or 4 a minute for the next hour. You say fast, but my perception was that they were slower and kept going a long distance. Quite a few greens. One travelled the entire length of Orion, from just off Castor down past Rigel, and then a big fireball at the end. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Dec 14 '15 at 19:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.