Popular Astronomy

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Stumble It More...

2014 Geminids : Additional reports

Bill Ward (Kilwinning, near Glasgow) captured images of a number of bright Geminid and sporadic meteors during the night of Dec 14-15, two of which are produced below. As can be seen, one of the sporadics (below left) was somewhat unusual in that it seemed to fade out and then brighten again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Robin Scagell (London) reports that he took 324 photos with 15-sec exposures at f/4 with a 25 mm lens. He captured six meteors, most of which were faint. Four were Geminids and two were sporadics.

This image shows two Geminids that appeared during the night of Dec 13-14. Robin has added two lines which track back from the short meteor trails to the Geminid radiant, near the star Castor.

The bright star halfway down the left side of the image is Pollux. Hence you can see that both of these meteors appeared rather close to the Geminid radiant and would have been difficult to spot if observing this area visually (hence the recommendation for visual observers to monitor the sky around 30 degrees from the radiant, where the meteor trails will be somewhat longer).

 

Jonathan Shanklin (Cambridge) observed visually between 2240 and 2340UT during the night of Dec 13-14, seeing 12 Geminids, 1 Monocerotid and 2 sporadics (Limiting Magnitude was 5 at the zenith, approx 20% of the sky was obscured).

 

 

 

Bill Ward also captured a number of spectra, the best of which was at 00:00:19 UT on the morning of Dec 13th. This is shown below along with a synthetic colour spectrum. The two brightest emission lines are from magnesium (green) and sodium (orange), along with a number of weaker emission lines from magnesium and iron.

As mentioned in the earlier report, Richard Fleet (Wilcot) imaged a fuel discharge at 0544UT on the morning of Dec 13, related to the launch of a spy satellite. Richard's images showing this are reproduced below:

Added by:  Tracie Heywood