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December Friday 15, 2017 at 14:35
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Today's Picture

Earth's annual Geminidmeteor shower did not disappoint as our fair planet plowedthrough dust from active asteroid 3200 Phaethon.Captured in this northern hemisphere nightscape, the meteors stream away from the shower's radiant in Gemini .To create the image, 37 individual frames recordingmeteor streaks were taken over period of 8.5 hours during thenight of December 12/13.In the final composite they were selected and registered againstthe starry sky above a radio telescope dish of MUSER ,a solar-dedicated radio telescope array at astronomically-named Mingantu Station in InnerMongolia, China, about 400 kilometers from Beijing.Sirius, alpha star of Canis Major, shines brightly just abovethe radio dish and the Milky Way stretches toward the zenith.Yellowish Betelgeuse is a standout in Orion to the right ofthe northen Milky Way.The shower's radiant is at top left, high above the horizonnear Castor andPollux the twin stars of Gemini.The radiant effect is due to perspective as the parallel meteor tracks appear to converge in the distance. Gemini's meteors enter Earth's atmosphere traveling at about 22kilometers per second.

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