starry sky
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on

From the 7th to the 17th of this month the Geminids star shower will be observed, one of the most abundant of the year, expecting to observe a meteorite every 30 seconds, informed Yucatecan astronomer Eddie Ariel Salazar Gamboa.

He affirmed that this astronomical phenomenon is so ancient that it was represented on the mantle of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

He expressed that the also known as the meteor shower of the Virgin will have a greater splendor in the night of next Tuesday 13 and dawn of Wednesday 14, since up to 120 meteors could be observed per hour.

He emphasized the astronomical and religious importance of the phenomenon that he called “the meteor shower of the Virgin”, in allusion to the Guadalupana as well as to the constellation of Virgo.

“When the constellation of Gemini is observed in the celestial vault, the constellation of the Virgin begins to emerge. Therefore, shooting stars are directed to this set of stars, which coincides with the celebration of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe,” he said.

The academic of the Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida (ITM) informed that the Geminids are a singular astronomical phenomenon, since it is a consequence of the residue of an asteroid that came very close to the Sun, since all meteor showers are produced by comets.

He mentioned that “it is the most copious of the year, and it is produced by a rocky object, officially catalogued as Potentially Dangerous Asteroid, whose trajectory avoids the Earth’s orbit for only 3.2 million kilometers”.

The interviewee commented that this astronomical event occurs from the 7th to the 17th of this month, which “is one of the most significant meteor showers of the year, both for being copious and also for the religious link that prevails”.

He highlighted the symbolic interpretation, since “the star shower arises from Gemini, and bathes the constellation of the Virgin, so the syncretism is remarkable”.

“Gemelos emerges on the northeast-east horizon, at 7 pm, and when it is at the zenith, the constellation of Virgo appears, which is bathed by the meteors that go in that direction,” said the professor emeritus of the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY).

“The most interesting thing is that it is caused by an asteroid, when this type of event is usually generated by the debris left by comets when approaching the Sun”, he emphasized.

He clarified that “during the year, there are 29 badly called ‘meteor showers’, because they should be ‘meteorites’, of which, the most copious are the Quadrantids, to be seen in the constellation of Quadrant, on January 3 and 4; Perseids, on August 11 and 12; Orionids, October 17 to 25, between 20 to 25 fireballs, and Geminids, from December 11 to 13, when between 60 to 100 meteors per hour are observed”.

While of lesser intensity are the Lyrids, Eta Aquarids, Taurids and Leonids, among others, observing up to 20 fireballs per hour.

The coordinator of the Astronomy Group “Hipatia of Alexandria” of the ITM mentioned that “this shower of stars may well be represented in the part of the mantle that covers the head of the Virgin of Guadalupe, as it is in the ayate of Juan Diego, however, there is no document that makes reference to this astronomical phenomenon”.

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