Friday, 19 December 2014

Final Geminid 2015 Report

Well, the final report is one of disappointment after the 2015 Geminid meteor shower started so well here in Newark!

My first proper observation session took place at 2am on the night of the 12th-13th. It was well below zero, but warmly dressed, it was strangely pleasant reclining on a garden chair in the frost, watching the stars crisply pierce the black vault above.

In the 45 minute session I had, I observed 8 Geminids, none brighter than 2nd magnitude and most fainter. The last quarter moon was providing some interference in the East, but bright meteors were still easily visible. In fact the brightest I saw were two sporadics of first magnitude streaking North - South through Leo, against the tide as it were.

The night of maximum, the 13th-14th (Saturday-Sunday) commenced with me making a 7km run around the streets, including a trip up Clay Lane and to the Elm Avenue cricket ground. Here skies were dark, and I was certain of seeing meteors, or so I thought.

As it happened, during the 45 minute run with these frequent meteor stops, I saw no meteors, despite the gloriously clear skies. Of odd looks from dog walkers and car drivers, wondering who this neck craning athlete was, there were many. Of shooting stars, there were none.

However, during a 15 minute session later on where I observed from a well lit street, I saw 5 meteors at around 8pm and was really hopeful of a fantastic night of illuminations. Ha ha. In the great tradition of British weather, clouds rolled in from nowhere at around 9pm and blanked the sky out for the rest of the night.

Cruel. So cruel.

The night of post maximum was the same, and the one after. Finally, on the Tueday night, I saw my final Geminid of the shower, a proud but strangely sad specimen heading East leaving a short trail.

No more.

It could have been so darn good!


  1. Were you watching using a telescope or just the bare eye? Exciting to think about all of that happening in one night!