171223期:法厄同家族

法厄同家族

在对其轨道进行精确测量以后,可认为3200法厄同是构成双子座流星雨的流星体来源。大多数流星雨的起源都是彗星,而3200法厄同是一颗受到密切监控的著名近地小行星,具有1.4年的轨道周期。这颗岩质小行星饱受太阳炙烤,它的近日点在太阳系最内侧行星水星的轨道内。在此长达两分钟曝光的望远镜视野中,小行星的高速移动在英仙座星群的微弱背景里划出一小段轨迹,其后裔留下的平行条纹则更快地掠过。在3200法厄同于12月16日创下史上最接近地球的纪录之前,这张全家福在12月13日双子座流星雨最活跃的时刻被记录下来。

译:银河说翻译组 俞天丽

                                      Phaethon’s Brood
              Image Credit & Copyright: Mikiya Sato (Nippon Meteor Society)

Explanation: Based on its well-measured orbit, 3200 Phaethon (sounds like FAY-eh-thon) is recognized as the source of the meteroid stream responsible for the annualGeminid meteor shower. Even though most meteor showers’ parents are comets, 3200 Phaethon is a known and closely tracked near-Earth asteroid with a 1.4 year orbital period. Rocky and sun-baked, its perihelion or closest approach to the Sun is well within the orbit of innermost planet Mercury. In this telescopic field of view, the asteroid’s rapid motion against faint background stars of the heroic constellation Perseus left a short trail during the two minute total exposure time. The parallel streaks of its meteoric children flashed much more quickly across the scene. The family portrait was recorded near the Geminid meteor shower’s very active peak on December 13. That was just before 3200 Phaethon’s historic December 16 closest approach to planet Earth.

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