Geminids Meteor Shower 13th-14th December

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Geminids Meteor Shower 13th-14th December

Postby brayden » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:34 am

Geminids (GEM)

Active: December 4—17; Maximum: December 13, 23h30m UT (λ⊙ = 262.2°); ZHR = 120;
Radiant: α = 112°, δ = +33°; Radiant drift: see Table 6;
V∞ = 35 km/s; r = 2.6;
TFC: α = 87°, δ = +20° and α = 135°, δ = +49° before 23h local time,
α = 87°, δ = +20° and α = 129°, δ = +20° after 23h local time (β > 40° N);
α = 120°, δ = −3° and α = 84°, δ = +10° (β < 40° N).
IFC: α = 150°, δ = +20° and α = 60°, δ = +40° (β > 20° N);
α = 135°, δ = -5° and α = 80°, δ = 0° (β < 20° N).

One of the finest, and probably the most reliable, of the major annual showers presently observable, whose peak this year falls perfectly for new Moon. Well north of the equator, the radiant rises about sunset, reaching a usable elevation from the local evening hours onwards. In the southern hemisphere, the radiant appears only around local midnight or so. It culminates near 02h. Even from more southerly sites, this is a splendid stream of often bright, medium-speed meteors, a rewarding event for all observers, whatever method they employ. The peak has shown slight signs of variability in its rates and timing in recent years, with the more reliably-reported maxima during the past two decades (HMO, p. 171) all having occurred within λ⊙ = 261.5° to 262.4°, 2012 December 13, 07h to December 14, 04h UT. Near-peak rates usually persist for almost a day, so much of the world has the chance to enjoy something of the Geminids’ best. Some mass-sorting within the stream means fainter telescopic meteors should be most abundant almost a day ahead of the visual maximum, with telescopic results indicating such meteors radiate from an elongated region, perhaps with three sub-centres. Further results on this topic would be useful.

Southern Sky Watch


Geminid radiant seen facing north in the southern Hemisphere at 3:00 am daylight saving time, December 14.

The Geminids are a fairly reliable meteor shower, with rates of about a meteor per minute at their best. This is an excellent year for Geminids, with no moonlight interference. The radiant doesn't rise until just before midnight (daylight saving time) in most of Australia, so you will have to disturb your sleep for this one. At 1.00 am in the morning AEDST (midnight, AEST) Castor (alpha Geminorum) is about two handspans above the horizon and 10 handspans to the left of due north. Pollux, the other twin, is less than a handspan to the left again. The radiant is just below Castor. A spotters map is here. Unlike the Leonids, where there is a very narrow peak of high activity, the Geminids have a broad peak and will show good activity well before and after the peak, and on the day before and after. The peak is predicted to be around 11.00 am (AEST) on the 14th, during daylight. However, Australians should see a meteor every two minutes under dark skies in the early morning of the 14th, between 2:00 am and 4:00 am.

Outside of the showers, you can still see sporadic meteors. Rates seen from the Southern Hemisphere are around 6 random meteors being seen per hour during the late morning hours and 2 per hour during the evening. The evening rates will be reduced during the times around the full Moon due to interference by the Moons light.

Looking forward to this shower! Morning of Dec 14th, will be watching it in Meeka :D

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Geminids Meteor Shower 13th-14th December

Postby Lert » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:03 am

I got up at 3am for a look. Sky was clear and saw about 7 good meteors in the quadrant I was watching in 30 mins..

The mozzies got the better of me after that. Might have another look tonight and be better prepared.
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