Posts Tagged ‘geminid’

Geminids Meteor Shower 2011

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

The best view of the Geminids Meteor Shower this year will be after midnight on the nights of 13/14 and 14/15 December, however the hourly rate of meteors will be drastically reduced due to the presence of a waning gibbous Moon which will be high in the sky at the peak meteor times, and right next to the part of the sky that the Geminid meteors will appear to radiate from (called the radiant).

A Geminid Meteor (image credit Wally Pacholka / / TWAN)

The light from the Moon will drown out all but the brightest meteors, and so rather than seeing 80+ meteors per hour (under cloudless skies, free of light pollution) that rate may be reduced to only a few an hour. This still represents an increase in the normal background rate of meteors, but is far from the spectacular display usually seen during this reliable performer.

To maximise your chances of seeing meteors you should plan to spend a few hours outside after midnight. A reclining lawn chair is ideal, allowing you to observe in comfort, and wrapping yourself in blankets should stave off much of the midwinter chill.

You should face your lawn chair away from the Moon, so you are not in its direct glare. Although the radiant of the shower will be behind you if you do this, the meteors will streak all over the sky, and so there is no real harm in facing away.

More information about the Geminids meteor shower can be found at the Meteorwatch website.

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