On the night of Monday, December 13, the rain of the dichotomous Didymides will peak in the northern hemisphere (and in Greece), one of the most impressive of the year. The Gemini, which usually lasts from the 7th to the 17th of December, produce, together with the Perseids of August, the most impressive “falling stars” in the year.
Gemini is called by experts the “king” of diatons, as they can “produce” 60 to 120 bright and often colorful falling stars per hour, ie one to two per minute, at various points in the night sky and not just from a specific direction. . Their meteors move relatively slowly in the sky, compared to other torrential rains, at a speed of about 35 kilometers per second, which makes them more spectacular (the Perseid meteors move at about twice the speed).
Gemini first appeared in 1862 and took their name from the constellation of Gemini, where they seem to come from. Unlike other rainforests, their origin is not the tail of a comet, but rather the mysterious asteroid “3200 Phaethon”, discovered in 1982 by NASA and considered a former comet that lost its tail.
“Phaethon”, about five kilometers in diameter, follows a highly elliptical orbit, which almost every year and a half brings it closer to the Sun than any other known asteroid. The result is that, at regular intervals, it is “burned” by sunlight, as its surface temperature reaches 700 degrees Celsius. Thus, it produces new outflows of dust, the Twins, when these meteors enter and burn in the atmosphere of our planet.