Asteroid 3200 Phaethon and Geminids meteor shower

SPACE is pulling out all the showstoppers ahead of Christmas, with a meteor shower and a vast asteroid rock in store for lucky stargazers.

Wondering where the Geminids come from? Introducing their spacey mother, a vast asteroid belt that last visited earth in 1974, but is flying by later this week.

When will Asteroid 3200 Phaethon fly past Earth?

After tonight’s Geminids meteor shower, the enormous space rock Asteroid 3200 will sweep by earth on Saturday, December 16.

The three-mile wide rock won’t be back for another 76 years when it returns in 2093, so don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

How close will it come?

Phaethon will come pretty close to earth in space terms – according to NASA a “safe” 6.4million miles.

You won’t be able to see it with your bare eyes, but anyone with a four or five inch diameter, or bigger, telescope, should be able to find it.

When you do locate the asteroid, it will deceptively look like a very slow-moving star.

What’s its link to the Geminids meteor shower?

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon is the “mother of all Geminids”, according to The stream of debris running from the asteroid is what causes meteors to fly from the constellation Gemini, hence their name.

These magical Geminids appear as a streak against the sky, with around 60 to 120 to be viewed in recent years.

It’s normally comets that produce meteor showers, not asteroids – and so the vast rock is still causing bafflement among astronomers.

Original article here

Capture the Asteroid Competition 2017




This year´s Capture the Asteroid Competition is closed and all submissions are finally judged. Firstly, a big thank you to our partner Northolt Branch Observatory for their good cooperation and especially for their expert support.

All the submissions were exceptional and very close together. The decision was not made lightly for us. Nevertheless we have chosen our top three: Robert Magno, Jim Ferreira & Yuri Solomonov. Congratulations to our winners.

Of course we would like to congratulate all attendees – thank you for participating!




Please have a look to the following entries from our top three:

Place 1: Robert Magno, Asteroid 3122 Florence, Telescope Skywatcher 1000×200 end Eq5 mounting, GotoStar system Idea, Camera Sony

Place 2: Jim Ferreira, Asteroid 704 Interamnia, Sony ICX-274 monochrome CCD with IR block filter

Place 3: Yuri Solomonov, 40 Harmonia , Canon 450D, lens 135 mm