December 7, 2023

This is how they portray Gemini

This is how they portray Gemini

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Long exposure to a short event: Geminids appear as streaks that become brighter and abruptly end in the image. Photo: Matthias Balck / dpa / dpa-tmn

(Photo: dpa)

“You get the best results when you set your SLR camera to a low sensitivity and let it unfold for half an hour.” This is the advice of Andreas Schmidt, scientific director of the Stellarium Erkrath Planetarium (North Rhine-Westphalia). In this way, the light can be captured throughout the entire exposure period – and with luck, one Geminid image or the other can be captured.

Orbits of stars and long lines of satellites

But the stars of the night sky can also be seen in the image. You can recognize them by their circular orbits. The bright, even, straight streaks of light that run across the entire image are satellites, according to Schmidt. Geminids appear as stripes that become brighter and abruptly end in the image.

So that the image is not blurred, it is better to use a tripod – if available. The camera can also be pointed at the sky at a book or other solid object. A tripod does not guarantee blur-free images. Astronomer Andreas Schmidt advises caution, especially with lighter tripods. Even with many steps in the area and the wind, it begins to move – and the picture loses its sharpness.

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The view goes from east to southeast

The best time to see Geminids is the night of December 13-14 from around 9pm. Frank Longenstrass, managing director of Galileum Solingen, recommends looking from east to southeast.

Only the previous days will tell if the weather will cooperate. Physicist Lungenstra├č advises looking up astrological weather on specialized weather websites two to three days in advance. employment For example, information about cloud cover at different altitudes and general visibility of celestial bodies is listed. The site provides accurate forecasts.

By the way, not only Gemini can be observed on the night of December 14 – then statistically only most of them are visible, explains Andreas Schmidt. Even on the nights before and after, you might be lucky enough to see falling stars.

‘Slow meteors’, but clearly visible

But you should not expect real meteor showers. On our sites, Andreas Schmidt estimates that there are approximately 30 to 40 falling stars per hour, scattered over wide swaths of the sky. In areas where it is especially bright at night, it should be less, in the city you can see only the brightest falling stars.

But: since, according to the German Aerospace Center (DLR), they collide with the Earth’s atmosphere much slower than, say, the Perseids in August, they are especially easy to see. Look at their origin Astronomy scientists In a celestial body called the Phaeton, it revolves around the Sun.

Information on the origin of Gemids