- nemesis maturity Published on Dec 2, 2018
Don’t miss out this month: Comet 46P/Wirtanen is gracing the night sky and it may be visible with the naked eye. The Winter Circle of Stars. The spectacular Geminid Meteor Shower and the Ursid meteor shower, the Moon, 4 visible Planets, Stars, Constellations, Deep Sky Objects and more. You don’t need any special equipment but just your eyes!
- The Geminids, December 4 to 16
For many astronomers, the Geminids is considered to be the queen of the meteor showers. The comet 3200 Phaethon is the cause of this meteor shower. With a Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) of +120 meteors per hour, you can expect to see a good number of bright meteors.
It runs from December 4 to 16. The best night for the watching is the one between the 13 and 14. The Peak has been predicted for December 14 at 13h UTC. This year, the waxing crescent Moon will not be a problem for the watching. Use PhotoPills to check the rise and set times, and choose the best time for the shooting. It’s visible from both hemispheres. Although it’s weaker in the southern hemisphere.
When: December 4 to 16 2018
Best night: December 13-14
Peak: December 14 at 13h UTC
Moon Phase: 35% (good viewing conditions)
Number (ZHR): +120 Meteors/hour
Meteors velocity: 35 km/s
Origin (radiant): constellation Gemini
Radiant coordinates: Right Ascension 07h 28m, Declination +32.2º
Associated Asteroid: 3200 Phaethon (discovered in 1982)
Northern Hemisphere: High rate
Southern Hemisphere: Medium rate
- Sigma Hydrids Meteor Shower – Hydra Constellation
The Sigma Hydrids meteor shower takes place within the boundaries constellation of Hydrus. The meteor shower occurs between Dec 03 – Dec 15 with the peak occuring on the Dec 12 every year.
The Solar Longitude (Abbrev: S.L., λ ☉) is 252.9 degrees, this value is the the date of maximum activity. It is measured as a degree with zero degree indicating spring equinox (roughly March 21st/22nd). 90 is the Summer Solstice, 180 is the Autumn Equinox and 270 is the Winter Solstice. This degree is independent of the calender. AMS .
Hydra the constellation associated with this meteor Shower is the biggest constellation in the sky. It represents in one legend the monster that Hercules slayed. Even though the constellation is big, the meteor shower on the other hand is very faint and not spectacular. Given the faintness and there not being many meteors in the shower, it could be assumed that the source of the material for this is a long-period comet and that what we hit is the last remaining remnants of its tail that has not yet burnt up.
The closest star to the radiant point of the meteor shower is Minchir. The coordinates can also be determined by the Right Ascension (123.2) and the Declination (3).
The Zenith Hourly Rate or how many you expect to see during the hour is 3. The ZHR can radically increase if the comet or associated object is close by. The speed/velocity of the Meteor Shower particles is 59 km/s. The population index of the meteor shower is 3. The population index refers to the magnitude distribution of the meteorites, the smaller the index, the brighter the meteors are, the higher, the dimmer the meteors are. For this particular meteor shower, bright meteors are more frequent.
- Hydra (constellation)
Hydra is the largest of the 88 modern constellations, measuring 1303 square degrees. Also one of the longest at over 100 degrees, its southern end abuts Libra and Centaurus and its northern end borders Cancer. It has a long history, having been included among the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is commonly represented as a water snake. It should not be confused with the similarly named constellation of Hydrus.
The Greek constellation of Hydra is an adaptation of a Babylonian constellation: the MUL.APIN includes a “serpent” constellation (MUL.DINGIR.MUŠ) that loosely corresponds to Hydra. It is one of two Babylonian “serpent” constellations (the other being the origin of the Greek Serpens), a mythological hybrid of serpent, lion and bird.
The shape of Hydra resembles a twisting snake, and features as such in some Greek myths. One myth associates it with a water snake that a crow served Apollo in a cup when it was sent to fetch water; Apollo saw through the fraud, and angrily cast the crow, cup, and snake, into the sky. It is also associated with the monster Hydra, with its many heads, killed by Hercules, represented in another constellation.According to legend, if one of the hydra’s heads was cut off, two more would grow in its place. However, Hercules burned out the roots of the heads he severed to prevent them from growing again, and thus overcame the hydra.