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The Geminids meteor shower 2009 - Peaks on the 13th/14th

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posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 06:57 PM
im just on the outskirts of london and have just see 3 within 10 minutes pretty impressive,got a clear sky with not much light pollution.gonna be on look out now.

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 08:24 PM
SGIP - That sounds like it could well be a grazer, and quite a nice one too!

fugitive - Sounds like a good start. If you have a good location, good technique, and a good sky, there are times at peak when you'll see that many in the sky all at once (or close to it). The forecast looks good for the London area too after midnight tomorrow.

I saw a few last night. One nice Geminid that was close to being a fireball (-4 mag.), and pure white. I also had a peek earlier tonight (just after midnight) and saw a few, but clouds rolled in. The rate is starting to climb now. It's about 15 per hour at the time of writing.

I thought I'd be gone by now, but the forecast was looking so uncertain that I decided to leave it till the last minute, and hope that it improves. Hopefully things will look better in the morning!

I'll leave you with this narrative about a night's Geminid observing that I came across earlier

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 08:29 PM

Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
SGIP - That sounds like it could well be a grazer, and quite a nice one too!

I told my daughter (who was with me and saw it too -- we were walking to my car) that this was only the 2nd best meteor I ever saw -- I was lucky enough to have seen the famous "Peekskill Meteor" streak across my sky back in 1992. Today's was probably the best my daughter will ever see, unless she someday sees a fireball like the Peekskill meteor.

By the way, I now realize that the area of sky tonight's meteor radiated from is nowhere near Gemini (it moved from the far SSW sky to the NNE sky -- Gemini was on the eastern horizon at the time), so I wonder if it was not associated with the Geminids, but just a really good meteor that coincidentally occurred around the time of the Geminids.

[edit on 12/12/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 09:49 PM
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People

Correct. It can't have been a Geminid. From your description of the direction, and length, as far as I can tell it was most likely a sporadic meteor. Relatively slow early evening fireballs are usually associated with asteroidal material, so it may well have been your second "asteroid".

It still sounds like a grazer though, since as a general rule, if you take the length of the meteor you saw, and then the same length again behind the meteor, the radiant will be at least this distance away from where the meteor first appeared in the sky. If it traveled across half the sky, that would put the radiant close to, or a bit below the horizon, which is just what you'd expect if it were a grazer. They can only occur with the radiant low on the horizon.

You should tell your daughter, if she's observant, and keeps looking at the sky, she will likely see a better one than you in her lifetime SGIP. The next generation will be longer lived than ever before... heck, even some of us could make it to the next predicted Leonid storm (in about 87 years if memory serves). I'm hoping to anyway... even if they have to wheel me out onto the lawn

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 12:17 AM
ahhh, I almost just posted a thread, then decided the search feature might be good to use first. lol

good call.. BUMP

I am up at our local Observatory right now ,
we have been outside for only about an hour.. maybe not even,

between the 6 of us, we have already seen 13 of them. lol

3 were "mine".

well, i just wanted to bump this to the top for any gazers who might be kinda forgetful. lol

heres a link to with the map of where to look,

clear skies all,

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 06:21 AM
First, thanks for the heads up CHUD, and excellent compilation of resource material.

We watched for about two hours last night and saw several -- some of them even before Gemini had risen. Very clear and relatively unhumid skies here in the Caribbean, and the moon wasn't a factor. We knew there was a front rolling in today, so last night might've been our night.

I'm going to set up the camera/tripod again tonight, just in case. Got a couple of streaks, nothing really share-worthy.

happy seeing!

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 12:59 PM
Ahmose - Hope you caught a good shower! Sounds like you had a nice location to observe from.

argentus - My pleasure. Good to hear you tried to catch a few with the camera. I wish I could have watched from the Caribbean - I reached for my bottle of water last night to have a drink, and it was partially frozen

I drove out of the burbs and found a reasonably dark site to observe from. The winter milky way was quite spectacular, and the sky transparency was very good (at least compared to what I'm used to!), although clouds prevented me from observing for some of time. Even so, this was easily the best Geminids shower that I've ever observed!

There were many simultaneous Geminids, and seeing 2 meteors in the sky at the same time was common. At one point I saw 5 Geminids in 10 seconds. I didn't see many fireballs, but many were not far off. Best meteor of the night was a golden -0.5mag. sporadic high in the sky that traveled S to N. It lasted a good 3 or 4 seconds, was very slow, and I got a great look at it as it broke into pieces! Next best was a -5 mag. Geminid fireball that was a nice purple/mauve color - the brightest Geminid of the night.

By the end of the night I'd observed around 500 Geminid meteors. Probably caught one or two with the cameras as well!

Bring on the Quadrantids!

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 11:53 PM
Glad I saw this thread...need to take a trip outside...

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 12:09 AM
It was pretty intense, i'm in a specific Low Light Zone by Lowell Observatory and I was seeing 4-5 a Minute, way higher than what i was told to expect.

No expert on the subject by any means but the color variety was the best I have ever seen, Purple, Blue. Red, White... Amazing, No idea what the colors indicate by content but it was quite a diverse show last night

Sadly the Temperature forced me in after not so long a time, but still best i have ever personally seen.

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 12:16 PM
BlinkofanEye - Did you have any luck? It was noting but solid cloud here for the post-peak night.

mopusvindictus - I know what you mean about the rate. It can seem higher than it is, since you get very active periods, and then nothing for a while, but if you average it out over an hour (and ignore non-Geminid meteors) you get a more accurate picture.

I find the Geminids a bit bland in terms of color compared to Leonids and Perseids. This year they were mostly white, with only a hand full of Geminids showing colors.

The colors are due to the plasma which meteors create as they slam into the atmosphere, and spectral-emission lines detected in meteors come from both the atmospheric gases (mainly oxygen and nitrogen) and the ablated elements from the meteoroid itself. The velocity is a key factor in which spectral lines are observed, since some lines need allot more energy input (directly related to velocity) to be detected.

There is some info on the subject in this paper here.

It's a shame you had to end your observing early because of the cold. It's very easy to get caught out if you have never tried to observe under a clear sky for any length of time at this time of year. I had five layers including a fleece and a well insulated jacket, plus a fairly well insulated sleeping bag to crawl into, and I was just about comfortable (I wouldn't say cosy!).

How did everyone else get on? tracey ace? Alaskan Man?

[edit on 15-12-2009 by C.H.U.D.]

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 04:18 PM
reply to post by C.H.U.D.

No luck im afraid.

Perfect skies in the day but come night time cloud,rain and sleet.
I thought i had seen a flash/explosion last week but wasn`t sure as i was focusing elsewhere.But its great to see others were successful.
Im not too upset by it though as i heard some good news about street lighting in my home town having to be dimmed.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:13 AM
reply to post by tracey ace

Sorry to hear that tracey. Keep trying mate. You'll catch a good shower at the right time sooner or later. This has been the first really good shower I've seen in years due to the weather as well.

It seems rates may have exceeded the predictions this year, although that's from what appears to be an unconfirmed report from

There is also a stunning photo taken of an extremely bright Geminid by Wally Pacholka which I just can't resist posting here

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