Planetary and exoplanetary Astronomy Lunch Seminar (PALS) for 2023-04-10

Series: Planetary and exoplanetary Astronomy Lunch Seminar (PALS)
Date: Monday 10-April-2023
Time: 11:15-12:15
Location: ATL 1250
Speaker: Karl Battams
Title: Phaethon and the Geminids: New Insights from NASA's Heliophysics Fleet

Abstract: The Geminids are one of the most prominent terrestrial meteor showers, occurring in mid-December every year, and are one of a very small number of meteor showers not associated with a comet. Instead, the Geminid parent is widely believed to be near-Sun asteroid 3200/Phaethon, which itself was only discovered in 1983. Much remains unknown or unclear about the collective Geminid-Phaethon system, including the massively disruptive event (or events) that led to the formation of the Geminids, their evolution over the proposed 2kyr since their formation, as well as the properties of Phaethon itself and its behavior at perihelion. Ground-based observations of this system have remained largely confined to studies of Earth-encountering Geminids, and observations of an inactive Phaethon at substantial distances from its 0.14au perihelion. In recent years, however, a surprising source of information about this enigmatic system has come from the NASA and ESA heliophysics space fleet, with direct observations of both the Geminids and Phaethon itself at their perihelion points. In this seminar, I will discuss the breadth of observations, insights, and surprises revealed from analyses of SOHO, STEREO, and Parker Solar Probe data, including some of the questions they have answered and the many more that they have raised.

For further information contact PALS coordinators Quanzhi Ye at and Tad Komacek at


Special accommodations for individuals with disabilities can be made by calling (301) 405-3001. It would be appreciated if we are notified at least one week in advance.


Directions and information about parking can be found here.

This page was automatically generated on: 30-Mar-2023.