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Geminid Meteors over Chile (photo composite)

By: Yuri Beletsky

 

Region: Americas

Site: Las Campanas - Chile

Date: 2013 December 13-14

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As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day, from a radiant point in the constellation of the Twins, the annual Geminid meteor shower rains down on planet Earth each year near mid-December. Recorded near the shower's peak over the night of December 13 and 14, the above multi-exposure skyscape captures Gemini's shooting stars in a four-hour composite from the dark skies of the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. In the foreground the 2.5-meter du Pont Telescope is visible as well as the 1-meter SWOPE telescope. The skies beyond the meteors are highlighted by Jupiter, seen as the bright spot near the image center, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, seen vertically on the image left, and the pinkish Orion Nebula on the far left. Dust swept up from the orbit of active asteroid 3200 Phaethon, Gemini's meteors enter the atmosphere traveling at about 22 kilometers per second. Click the constellation icon above the image to see the labels. Yuri Beletsky

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