Thursday 12 December 2013

First Geminid Meteors of the Season!

Ahead of Friday's Geminid maximum, took advantage of reasonably clear skies and a low half moon to make my first Geminid observations for 2013.

Although the Perseids of August are often talked up as being the best shower of the year, in practice I find the Geminids to be a better observing experience. The radiant is higher in the sky much earlier, winter skies are darker, and the meteors themselves tend to be slower moving and brighter than the Perseids.

The main problem is the cold, and believe me, it was pretty sharp last night!

I observed for half an hour from 1am, and managed to pick up 5 bright meteors in this time, strangely most of them in the low south, streaking through Orion and Canis Major. Thought I would see more in the vast blank patch of sky overhead that was the constellation of Camelopardalis.

If skies clear, I shall make some more observations tonight, and hopefully there will be an increase in visible meteor numbers. I will also take a scaldingly hot cup of coffee outside with me tonight to improve my observational endurance!

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