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View Full Version : Geminids Peak on December 13th



sarongsong
2004-Dec-09, 10:07 PM
From our good friends at Universe Today (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/geminids_peak_dec_13.html?7122004):
"... It's possibly the best meteor showers in the whole year, and happens because the Earth is plowing through bits of dust left over from Asteroid 3200 Phaethon..."
An asteroid!

Maksutov
2004-Dec-09, 11:54 PM
Yup. That's verified here. (http://comets.amsmeteors.org/meteors/showers/geminidhistory.html)

Saw a few Geminids while out observing Comet Machholz night before last.

Normandy6644
2004-Dec-10, 12:51 AM
Now is that early morning December 13 (i.e., wee hours like 2/3AM) or later that night?

Normandy6644
2004-Dec-10, 12:52 AM
D'oh! Next time I should read the article before posting. :oops:


It's the Geminids. The best time to look is Monday night, Dec. 13th. Sky watchers who stay outside for a few hours around midnight can expect to see dozens to hundreds of "shooting stars."


Earthgrazers are meteors that skim almost horizontally across the top of Earth's atmosphere, like a stone skipping across a pond. You might see a few between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. local time when Gemini is first peeking over the eastern horizon (the perfect geometry for earthgrazing). Earthgrazers are bright, long and colorful. Even one can make your day

mickal555
2004-Dec-10, 02:24 AM
It's nothing but cloud here, so I dunno If I'll be seeing any.

Normandy6644
2004-Dec-10, 02:26 AM
It's nothing but cloud here, so I dunno If I'll be seeing any.

The question is, will it be like that on Monday? 8) :wink:

ChibiVader
2004-Dec-10, 07:42 AM
Now is that early morning December 13 (i.e., wee hours like 2/3AM) or later that night?

Best times are when the constellation in which the radiant resides (Gemini) is highest in the sky.

I've been out several nights recently and have seen some unusually high meteor counts starting a week ago. If that's any indication, I expect the Geminids should be quite excellent.

Swift
2004-Dec-10, 03:09 PM
Spaceweather.com (http://www.spaceweather.com/) has stuff up on it, including a chart with peak times in various US cities.

um3k
2004-Dec-10, 03:40 PM
It's been cloudy, it is cloudy, and it most likely will be cloudy.

mickal555
2004-Dec-10, 04:27 PM
It's been cloudy, it is cloudy, and it most likely will be cloudy.
Wow do you live in brissie thats the exact same as here!!!

nat
2004-Dec-10, 05:09 PM
well it,s cloudy here too in wales hope it lifts for the shower as i have never seen one due to it alwats being cloudy on the night :cry:
the most annoying thing for me though is i waited 5 weeks for my first scope we had a week of clear skys got my scope yesterday the clouds rolled in :evil:
its only a celestron 114mm but im drooling over it already lol :P

frenat
2004-Dec-10, 05:10 PM
What about the next night? On the 14th I'll have a really good chance to look but not on the 13th.

iFire
2004-Dec-10, 05:15 PM
There is other kinds of weather but cloudy? I am so used to a grey sky that I would probably freak out if it was blue. Prolly won't get any better for shower either. :(

Wolverine
2004-Dec-12, 01:02 AM
While out early this morning (4:00 AM or so, local), I caught five in the space of about 20 minutes. Nice velocity! 8)

Hopefully conditions will cooperate for the peak... our forecast looks promising thus far.

Maksutov
2004-Dec-12, 12:53 PM
well it,s cloudy here too in wales hope it lifts for the shower as i have never seen one due to it alwats being cloudy on the night :cry:
the most annoying thing for me though is i waited 5 weeks for my first scope we had a week of clear skys got my scope yesterday the clouds rolled in :evil:
its only a celestron 114mm but im drooling over it already lol :P
So, you didn't know that Murphy was an astronomer?

Well, now you know!

sarongsong
2004-Dec-13, 07:38 AM
The Mathematics of Murphy's Law (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.12/start.html?pg=11):
"... in general, the math proves that the universe really does hate you..."
Breaking news:
13/12/2004 07:34**-*(SA)**
UFO 'explodes' in China (http://www.news24.com/News24/Backpage/Offbeat/0,,2-1343-1347_1635191,00.html)
"...Beijing - An unidentified flying object, or UFO, passed across the large north-western Chinese city of Lanzhou and apparently exploded in the suburbs, state media said on Monday..."

A Geminid Earthgrazer that broke thru?

nat
2004-Dec-13, 03:55 PM
oh well looks like it gona stay cloudy here :evil:
we just got this gray cloud cover been just hanging there for days it doesnt even have the decency to rain :cry:

frogesque
2004-Dec-13, 04:01 PM
oh well looks like it gona stay cloudy here :evil:
we just got this gray cloud cover been just hanging there for days it doesnt even have the decency to rain :cry:

4pm, just starting to get dark. Low carpet cloud and mizzle here too :cry:

Candy
2004-Dec-13, 04:09 PM
The Mathematics of Murphy's Law (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.12/start.html?pg=11):
"... in general, the math proves that the universe really does hate you..."
Breaking news:
13/12/2004 07:34**-*(SA)**
UFO 'explodes' in China (http://www.news24.com/News24/Backpage/Offbeat/0,,2-1343-1347_1635191,00.html)
"...Beijing - An unidentified flying object, or UFO, passed across the large north-western Chinese city of Lanzhou and apparently exploded in the suburbs, state media said on Monday..."

A Geminid Earthgrazer that broke thru?


The unusual sighting of two bright trails of light, reported by several witnesses, took place on Saturday shortly before midnight, the China Times reported.
8)

mickal555
2004-Dec-13, 04:11 PM
Last night I went out to the country to observe the shower its been cloudy for about 2 weeks and cleared for the first time that night :D I saw about 30 meteors and my mum saw about twenty. I was staying at a Friends house so I gave them the tour with my scope. Tonights it was about 1AM and I went out side and I saw three in quick secession so I thought you beauty and stayed out until now (2am) and saw about 20, 4 of them about -1 mag. I am going out later on (3am) to see more. :D

Candy
2004-Dec-13, 04:17 PM
Last night I went out to the country to observe the shower its been cloudy for about 2 weeks and cleared for the first time that night :D I saw about 30 meteors and my mum saw about twenty. I was staying at a Friends house so I gave them the tour with my scope. Tonights it was about 1AM and I went out side and I saw three in quick secession so I thought you beauty and stayed out until now (2am) and saw about 20, 4 of them about -1 mag. I am going out later on (3am) to see more. :D
Do you ever go to school? 8-[

mickal555
2004-Dec-13, 04:22 PM
Yes and, School is for sleep I stay awake for science and geography ,drama and IDT, but english and maths zzzzzzzz........ :P









8-[
















:o










Its the holidays :roll:

Normandy6644
2004-Dec-13, 05:14 PM
Crossing my fingers for tonight!

ChibiVader
2004-Dec-13, 06:43 PM
YAY! Clear skies tonight. Looks like I'll be taking my club out.

JohnD
2004-Dec-13, 07:22 PM
All,
Please someone teach me!
I looked at the spaceweather.com site at the time for best sightings from various US cities, hoping for a clue to when to look from the UK - and they are all the same time, more or less. Boston or Honolulu, both at 4-5am last night, midnight tonight, both local time. But Boston and Honolulu are nearly 5000 miles and 90 degrees of longitude apart. I would have expected the Earth to enter the meteor stream at a certain time GMT, that will be different at different longitudes.
Why is this not so?
Can I hope to see the Geminids tonight, given a clear sky, and when?

John

Kaptain K
2004-Dec-13, 07:37 PM
All,
Please someone teach me!
I looked at the spaceweather.com site at the time for best sightings from various US cities, hoping for a clue to when to look from the UK - and they are all the same time, more or less. Boston or Honolulu, both at 4-5am last night, midnight tonight, both local time. But Boston and Honolulu are nearly 5000 miles and 90 degrees of longitude apart. I would have expected the Earth to enter the meteor stream at a certain time GMT, that will be different at different longitudes.
Why is this not so?
A meteor shower is not a momentary event. The Geminids have been going on for over a week now and will continue after the peak. The peak is just that, the time when you "should" see the most meteors per hour.

Can I hope to see the Geminids tonight, given a clear sky, and when?
Yes! Anytime between sunset and sunrise!

frogesque
2004-Dec-13, 07:53 PM
John D
From my copy of Astronomy Now Dec 2004 vol 18 No. 12 ISSN 0951-9726 p31


Prospects for 2004

With New Moon on December 12th dark skies will very much favour the 2004 Geminids. From UK latitudes, the shower is above the horizon throughout the hours of darkness, though it's relatively low altitude will reduce the observed rates somewhat untill after about 20h local time.

The Geminid radiant culminates around 01hr local time, about 70deg up in the southern sky......

....... - even if clouds and rain (or snow!) prevent watches in the early part of the night, there is still a long veiwing window before dawn should the weather clear through! ..........

Edit: Added vol ref and page No. etc

Wolverine
2004-Dec-13, 09:26 PM
Very much looking forward to tonight after the amount of activity I've seen while observing the last few nights. Thankfully it appears the weather will cooperate.

frogesque
2004-Dec-13, 09:43 PM
Hope it stays fair for you Wolverine. Still a dismal 200ft cloud base here so I can't give you a heads up on activity. :(

Wolverine
2004-Dec-13, 09:51 PM
Thanks, sorry about your skies. I missed the Orionids and Leonids due to inclement weather, so tonight's my chance to get even.

frogesque
2004-Dec-13, 10:02 PM
:D Looks as if I'll have to do my viewing by proxy. I would be very interested in any different colour streaks and persistent trails. I remember a storm a while back (Leonids 98??) and a lot were streaking bright green with very persistent (>30sec) red trails. I also saw what I thought was an Earth grazer skip off the atmosphere and back out into space again. Some night was that.

Edit: It was the 99 Leonids, UK was about the best place to be to catch the peak From APOD (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/apod/apod_search?meteors)


Explanation:
The 1999 Leonids Meteor Shower came to an impressive crescendo. Observers in Europe observed a sharp peak in the number of meteors visible around 0210 UTC during the early morning hours of November 18. Meteor counts then exceeded 1000 per hour - the minimum needed to define a true meteor storm. At other times and from other locations around the world, observers typically reported respectable rates of between 30 and 100 meteors per hour

Wolverine
2004-Dec-13, 10:11 PM
Nice! 8)

The best I've seen from this event thus far was Saturday night, approx. -3 with a brilliant white streak that covered about 60. I'll take notes tonight and share any good stuff.

frogesque
2004-Dec-13, 10:18 PM
Thanks! My weather forcast :lol: (http://uk.weather.yahoo.com/UKXX/UKXX0052/index_c.html)

Wolverine
2004-Dec-13, 10:27 PM
Thanks! My weather forcast :lol: (http://uk.weather.yahoo.com/UKXX/UKXX0052/index_c.html)

Blargh. If you wish to apply salt to the wound, click the image in my sig. :lol:

frogesque
2004-Dec-13, 10:40 PM
Chants:

I am not a masochist, I am not a masochist, I am not a masochist, ...

click...

Arrrrrrggggghhhhhh!

Normandy6644
2004-Dec-13, 11:59 PM
Cloudy here, with little chance of it clearning. D'oh! :evil: #-o

Squink
2004-Dec-14, 12:57 AM
Cloudy here, with little chance of it clearning. D'oh! :evil: #-o You can still pick the shower up on Radio:
Radio Meteors live from Roswell, New Mexico (http://www.roswellastronomyclub.com/radio_meteors.htm)

Tensor
2004-Dec-14, 01:07 AM
Thanks! My weather forcast :lol: (http://uk.weather.yahoo.com/UKXX/UKXX0052/index_c.html)

My Forcecast (http://www.weather.com/activities/other/other/weather/tenday-details.html?locid=34207&dayNum=0) and don't believe the partly cloudy part. There's not a cloud in the sky.

Hi Normandy, doncha miss it. 8)

Maksutov
2004-Dec-14, 01:18 AM
What a beautiful couple of hours before dawn this morning. Geminids all over the place, at the rate of one to two per minute. A few left trails that lasted about two to three seconds. Two occurred simultaneously, through Taurus and Canis Major. Earlier I got to see Canopus skirting the southern horizon for about a half hour.

About hour before dawn the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope showed up at nearly the same time, the ISS going from SW to NE, the HST going SW to SE. Then just as twilight started to appear, there was an Iridium flare about 15 degrees off the SE horizon. Wow!

This evening (nearly perfect conditions once again) has shown only a few meteors so far, but one that was really outstanding. I was watching an unidentified polar-orbit satellite coursing through Cassiopeia when an "Earth-grazer" Geminid appeared in Auriga and slowly soared across the sky to Cygnus. It brightened and dimmed about four times during its arc. Quite a sight.

Maksutov
2004-Dec-14, 01:23 AM
:D Looks as if I'll have to do my viewing by proxy. I would be very interested in any different colour streaks and persistent trails. I remember a storm a while back (Leonids 98??) and a lot were streaking bright green with very persistent (>30sec) red trails. I also saw what I thought was an Earth grazer skip off the atmosphere and back out into space again. Some night was that.
So far every Geminid that has left a trail has tended to be very yellow (the color of the meteor). The trails have tended to be white with perhaps a hint of yellow. Hard to determine precisely since they last only a couple seconds.

You must be thinking of the 2001 Leonids. I was up all night for that one, with crystal clear skies. What a show! The sky was littered with greenish trails by about 3 AM.

mickal555
2004-Dec-14, 01:31 AM
I think the storm was 1999... every 33 years I did see it but..... I think it was the wrong day.

Maksutov
2004-Dec-14, 01:31 AM
Thanks! My weather forcast :lol: (http://uk.weather.yahoo.com/UKXX/UKXX0052/index_c.html)

Blargh. If you wish to apply salt to the wound, click the image in my sig. :lol:
Want more salt? Click on the thumbnail. That's the Eastern U.S. cloud cover forecast for tonight. I'm where the white "X" is.

http://img100.exs.cx/img100/8864/forecast2004121414yr.th.jpg (http://img100.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img100&image=forecast2004121414yr.jpg)

Maksutov
2004-Dec-14, 01:42 AM
I think the storm was 1999... every 33 years I did see it but..... I think it was the wrong day.
Depends on how "storm " defined. I remember the 2001 Leonids as having been advertised as the peak of the shower for the next few years. That year's meteor shower definitely delivered on those promises. The 2002 shower was also advertised as a "storm" but it wasn't quite as spectacular as the 2001 display.

Here's an article that discusses how the 2001 and 2002 Leonids would be "storms", but the 1999 and 2000 Leonids would be less spectacular. (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/leonid-99b.html)

R.A.F.
2004-Dec-14, 03:45 AM
Want more salt?

No salt needed here, thanks. I just went outside and it's so foggy (how foggy is it?) it's so foggy that I can't see across the street, let alone see the sky. I imagine it'll remain like this all night long.

What a bummer.

Maksutov
2004-Dec-14, 04:47 AM
10:26 PM CDT. Wow! A fireball! Best Geminid yet. A bright metallic red-green streak from the zenith to about 10 degrees off the SW horizon where it exploded with a bright red/white flash that lit up the backyard. I hope someone caught it on camera.

Normandy6644
2004-Dec-14, 04:58 AM
Thanks! My weather forcast :lol: (http://uk.weather.yahoo.com/UKXX/UKXX0052/index_c.html)

My Forcecast (http://www.weather.com/activities/other/other/weather/tenday-details.html?locid=34207&dayNum=0) and don't believe the partly cloudy part. There's not a cloud in the sky.

Hi Normandy, doncha miss it. 8)

And you know, if it were tomorrow I'd be there. But instead I have snow tonight. #-o

R.A.F.
2004-Dec-14, 05:34 AM
...it's so foggy that I can't see across the street, let alone see the sky.

Well, as is my wont sometimes, it turns out that I spoke too soon.

I just went outside and the sky immediatly overhead was perfectly clear. I could even see the Milky Way! In the 5 minutes that I was out there I saw 3...one big one and two "littlens".

So the "peak" is around midnight, local time, isn't it??

I wonder if the fog will return.

Normandy6644
2004-Dec-14, 05:49 AM
That's awesome RAF!

R.A.F.
2004-Dec-14, 05:52 AM
OK so I answered my own question...peaks around midnight.

Normandy...I'm unexpectedly happy myself. :)

Maksutov
2004-Dec-14, 05:59 AM
Glad to hear about your weather improving. Have fun, R.A.F., and clear skies!

mickal555
2004-Dec-14, 06:02 AM
\:D/ Congarsgradualations =D> \:D/
Same sort of thing happened to me

The Bad Astronomer
2004-Dec-14, 06:12 AM
Bummer. Typical NorCal December weather here: cloudy. But listening to the shower on the radio (http://www.roswellastronomyclub.com/radio_meteors.htm) is very, very cool.

ChibiVader
2004-Dec-14, 06:44 AM
I just got back from 2 hours of observing. Caught three really nice fireballs with smoke trails. Two of them we believe we got on film as well! I should have a few shots left on this roll, but once I get them developed, I'll definately share. Definately a good night of observing despite the below freezing temperatures.

sarongsong
2004-Dec-14, 07:44 AM
Woo-hoo!---despite the light pollution in SoCal saw one at 11:30 PM directly overhead and FAST---good luck to the photographers :lol:
The 2004 Geminid Meteor Gallery (http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/gallery_13dec04.htm)

jt-3d
2004-Dec-14, 08:03 AM
I broke down and went out for a while. I saw two but I didn't want to be cold so I came back in. Looked like an excellent night for the scope too but I'm too lazy.

Kaptain K
2004-Dec-14, 08:33 AM
I think the storm was 1999... every 33 years I did see it but..... I think it was the wrong day.
Depends on how "storm " defined. I remember the 2001 Leonids as having been advertised as the peak of the shower for the next few years. That year's meteor shower definitely delivered on those promises. The 2002 shower was also advertised as a "storm" but it wasn't quite as spectacular as the 2001 display.

Here's an article that discusses how the 2001 and 2002 Leonids would be "storms", but the 1999 and 2000 Leonids would be less spectacular. (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/leonid-99b.html)
And none of them came close to '66! From smack in the middle of Topeka, Ks, with a high haze no less, we saw several Leonids per second!

frogesque
2004-Dec-14, 10:41 AM
I'm glad all you guys got to see this year's Geminids though, with all the momentus events that have happened in space this year it's easy to forget what is visible with the naked eye right on our own doorstep so to speak.

Re: Entry streaks and persistent trails. Colour of streak and trail should give some clue as to composition as the meteor vaporises and becomes ionised. My guess is rock dust will produce the normal white streak with a pale white/yellowish trail whereas icy particles will produce the real fireworks of brilliant green with red trails. The red is very reminiscent of the excited oxygen seen in some auroras (H2O disassociating ???) I could be talking nonsense and if anyone has further info I would be interested.

Edit: I see meteor colours and trails have been discussed before here (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=272589&highlight=meteor+trails+col ors#272589) perhaps the tread could be bumped if there is more interest and info.

mickal555
2004-Dec-14, 10:46 AM
Hey are they still going, cause its night here again.......

R.A.F.
2004-Dec-14, 02:39 PM
I witnessed a number of "firsts" (for me) last night, but more on that in a moment.

I was only able to stay outside about an hour and a half...that damndable fog kept moving in and out. I saw about 15+ total, but what was lacking in quantity, was made up in quality...and how!

I saw one that was faint, slow moving, directly overhead that looked like a super-fast moving satellite. Another reminded me of the movie Robinson Crusoe on Mars...the scene where he watches his ship as it passes overhead, the meteor moved clear across the sky in a similiar fashion.

Then there was the Monster! I hope I can describe it. You know the old NASA animations of the Apollo CM re-entering the atmosphere? The cresent-Moon type effect? Well, that "kinda" describes the monster. A bright, cresent Moon with a tail moving across the sky...lasting about 4 seconds. Appearent width of the "horns" was about half of the actual Moon. I'd NEVER witnessed anything like that before.

Another "first" was about an hour ago...I went outside and saw a few more! I've never watched a shower, went to bed, then got up to watch some more.

All in all, an amazing evening!

SSJPabs
2004-Dec-14, 05:02 PM
I had too much to do last night, where are some good sites I can find pictures of them besides say, NASA?

frogesque
2004-Dec-14, 05:21 PM
SSJPabs
Nice pic on spaceweather.com (http://www.spaceweather.com/)

Moxy
2004-Dec-14, 05:30 PM
What is the forcast for tonight like? Will they still be visible, but just not as frequent? Or is it just all over?

Wolverine
2004-Dec-14, 08:41 PM
What is the forcast for tonight like? Will they still be visible, but just not as frequent? Or is it just all over?

The shower lasts through the end of the week. They'll still be visible, just in smaller numbers.

JohnD
2004-Dec-14, 08:58 PM
Kaptain K & frogesque,
Thanks for that, but I still don't understand.
Not helped by rain and foggy skys all day and tonight, with forecast the same or worse.
Perhaps I misunderstand - the peak is a time when you can expect to see the most meteors. frogesque's reference gave 0100 as the time for the UK. The same (more or less) as Honolulu!

This shower has been on for a week, you say? (It's been raining for that long here) So the Earth is going through a very wide band of meteors, that hit the Earth on the far side from the Sun, so that the observer sees most at local midnight. Is that right?

To save you time in this seminar, anyone point me to a good site that deals with this?

Thanks,
John

Wolverine
2004-Dec-14, 10:18 PM
There were some nice displays here last night. IMHO, the estimated frequency of 100/hr at peak was a bit optimistic; I spent about 4 hours total out in the chill observing, and experienced rates of 40-60/hr.

Conditions were clear, good transparency, limiting magnitude around 5. Started off about 3C and dropped steadily to 1. I might have stayed out a bit longer if it hadn't been so chilly.

As promised, for frogesque, here were the favorite moments (CST, GMT -6):

23:03 -- Brilliant yellow streak -3 or better traveling WSW through Cassiopeia; duration of 45 or so.

23:33 -- Beautiful -2 green streak from Lynx into Auriga, fading out near Capella.

00:42 -- Fast-moving yellow streak through Cassiopeia into Andromeda, -3.

00:54 -- Two Geminids appear nearly simultaneously, separated by only a few degrees, one traveling from Canis Minor toward Orion, the other appearing near the Beehive down through Puppis (and unfortunately behind a treeline). The resulting streaks leave a nearly perfect right angle.

The best of the night:

1:55 -- Absolutely brilliant meteor reaching -4 or better, spanning 80 or more from inbetween Lynx and Ursa Major nearly reaching the NW horizon. Left behind a rather persistent bluish-white trail.

While I'd hoped for better frequency, it was still a lovely show. The above alone made it quite worthwhile, and there were plenty of garden-variety appearances throughout the session. I'd hoped to capture an image or two, but my camera seems afraid of the dark. I did actually manage to get one in the neighborhood of Gemini, but it's not worth posting. The best shot I mustered was of a plane. Must... get... Rebel...

Kaptain K
2004-Dec-14, 10:24 PM
...So the Earth is going through a very wide band of meteors...
In essence, yes. Although I wouldn't call it very wide. For a shower with a narrow peak, check out next month's Quadrantids. The peak is only a few hours long and the whole shower only lasts a couple of days.

gethen
2004-Dec-14, 10:27 PM
Meteors? The only thing in my sky last night was another 6 inches of snow. :cry:

frogesque
2004-Dec-14, 10:38 PM
JohnD

You pretty well have the gist of it, for a wide stream like the Geminids it doesn't have a marked peak but for a very narrow stream it helps if local midnight coincides with the stream's arrival. Just to confuse, some showers also have more than one peak which can be a day or so apart.

Below are some sites you could try and if they can't answer your questions just Google for "meteor shower" or come back to BA and post any specific questions - I'm sure someone will be able to answer.

University of Leicester (http://www.star.le.ac.uk/edu/comets/meteors.html)Quite a lot of detail about meteors, meteorites and fireballs (sometimes called 'bolides')

Spaceteck's Orrey (http://www.harmsy.freeuk.com/meteors.html) Not very detailed but gives dates of the common showers

The American Association of Amateur Astronomers FAQ page (http://www.corvus.com/faq/aa01faq2.htm) Does what it says on the tin - good detail on frequently asked questions.

Hope this all helps.

frogesque
2004-Dec-14, 10:50 PM
Wolverine

Thanks for posting your detailed and very clear descriptions - sounds like you had a good night even with the chilly air. I'm always wary of predicted numbers and up to 1 per minute isn't a bad show especially if there are some real goodies to keep you interested.

Just for the record, as other UK posters have said, our weather forecast was 100% accurate - and it's still every bit as bad. :lol:

SarahMc
2004-Dec-14, 10:57 PM
Don't forget Gary Kronk's website (http://comets.amsmeteors.org/) as well for annual meteor shower information. He has a great page on the history of most showers, and his history page for the Geminids (http://comets.amsmeteors.org/meteors/showers/geminidhistory.html) is excellent, informative reading.

frogesque
2004-Dec-14, 10:59 PM
R.A.F.

Sounds like you saw one kind of like the fireball photographed and posted on this site (http://www.star.le.ac.uk/edu/comets/meteors.html) (scroll about 1/4 way down the page)

Wolverine
2004-Dec-14, 11:09 PM
Thanks for posting your detailed and very clear descriptions - sounds like you had a good night even with the chilly air.

You're quite welcome. I'd do some more observing tonight but we're expecting a hard freeze, and more importantly, the extended DVD of Return of the King is out, so the cosmos will have to be placed on hold for a night. :D

R.A.F.
2004-Dec-15, 02:16 AM
Sounds like you saw one kind of like the fireball photographed and posted on this site...

Well, kinda yes, kinda no. :) Lets see...how about this...

------------------------------------)

It kinda looked like that, with the dashed line being the trail of the meteor, and the "shock wave" in the front being about half as wide as the crescent Moon.

ChibiVader
2004-Dec-15, 06:55 PM
Sadly none of the meteors I thought I'd gotten went through the frame. So it looks like all I ended up getting was a few pretty pictures of star trails. So I'll share those:

http://s94958815.onlinehome.us/astronomy/images/gemini-saturn.jpg
Gemini. I was hoping to catch a few coming out of the radiant. The bright object at the bottom is Saturn.

http://s94958815.onlinehome.us/astronomy/images/trailsnearpolaris.jpg
This one was just north of Cassopeia I believe. I can't quite figure it out. Anyone help ID this area? And I can't believe this one didn't catch the fireball that we thought went right through it. This frame must have been just a bit to high up.

http://s94958815.onlinehome.us/astronomy/images/taurustrails.jpg
This one was taken by my girlfriend. We thought caught another fireball. Apparently, this one was just a bit too LOW. Argh. Well, it's Taurus.

The Bad Astronomer
2004-Dec-16, 06:52 AM
Finally! It cleared up here. I went out for about ten minutes, and saw two meteors. One wasn't a Geminid. :o I probably would have seen more, but I was fooling around with my new binocs. I can see the Crab Nebula from my back yard! That's pretty cool.

Evan
2004-Dec-16, 07:10 AM
It's not easy to capture meteors. Although they appear bright they don't stay in one place for long and so don't do much to expose the film.

This is one I caught from the Leonids storm in 2001. It was so bright it may have been a shadowcaster. I don't know, I was looking up.

http://vts.bc.ca/astrophoto/astra/leonid.jpg

frogesque
2004-Dec-16, 10:00 AM
Nice capture Evan :)

ChibiVader
2004-Dec-16, 04:34 PM
It's not easy to capture meteors. Although they appear bright they don't stay in one place for long and so don't do much to expose the film.

This is one I caught from the Leonids storm in 2001. It was so bright it may have been a shadowcaster. I don't know, I was looking up.

Looks like there's two more faint meteors on there. How long of an exposure was that one? Doesn't look like there's any star trails so I'm guessing only a few minutes, or it was tracked.

What speed film were you using (if you remember)?

Evan
2004-Dec-16, 04:38 PM
Thanks. The way to photograph meteors is to use the highest possible film speed available with a wide open lens and a fairly short exposure time to keep down the sky fog. A film like Fuji Superia 1600 would work well. Unfortunately it is still overcast-raining-foggy-snowing-blech here so no chance to try my Digital Rebel at ISO3200 on the Geminids.

ChibiVader,

It was on a tracking mount. There are about 20 trails in that exposure but they aren't very visible in the downsized pic I posted. Exposure was about five minutes with ISO800 film.

sarongsong
2004-Dec-17, 01:28 AM
Yes, great shot! Sounded so eerily reminiscent of comments on a different subject, I had to go back and compare:
"...Simply put, "fast glass" is a lens with a wide aperture, which allows the photographer to shoot in low-light situations...remember that there was heavy overcast and rain, the sun had already set, and...the train was actually moving! My shot just would not have been possible if I didn't have a reasonably fast lens. As you note, that evening my Canon Digital Rebel was set at ISO 1600, f1.8, and 1/200 sec. I prefer faster shutter speeds, but this was all I could afford given the tricky illumination..."
http://tinyurl.com/3jrol