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The Geminid Meteor Shower


IN 1947, Whipple1 published new elements of the Geminid meteor shower, obtained photographically. An extremely short period, 1.65 years, moderate inclination and considerable eccentricity (see below) together make the orbit of this shower an extraordinary one both in comparison with comets and with minor planets. But, according to Hoffmeister2, the existence of similar meteor showers seems to be indicated. Such a short-period meteor shower as the Geminids presents new aspects in meteor astronomy. Planetary perturbations are likely to play a great part in its nature. The study of secular perturbations is especially important, both in investigating the connexion with comets, and also from the observer's point of view; for example, Adams's classical work on the Leonids.

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  1. 1

    Whipple, Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc., 91, (2), 189 (1947).

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  2. 2

    Hoffmeister, Pop. Astron., 55, 33 (1947).

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  3. 3

    Guth, “Tables …des époques”, Pub. de l'Obs. Nat. Prague, No. 12 (1939).

  4. 4

    Malzev, Russian Astron. J., 8, 63 (1931).

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PLAVEC, M. The Geminid Meteor Shower. Nature 165, 362–363 (1950).

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