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 Post subject: Geminids 2017
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:51 pm
Posts: 2417
Location: Stoke-on-Trent
I didn't expect to be able to observe this evening, as the forecast looked unfavourable, and there was a light covering of snow this evening in my area. However, I noticed clear patches in the cloud cover around 10:30pm, so I decided to wrap up and take a peek.

I started observing at 10:40pm, and finished at 11:40pm. There was a 20 minute period where most of the sky was covered in cloud, and a five minute period where I took the opportunity to observe Mira (thanks to Mike Feist for pointing this out). However, during the remainder of the time, I saw a total of nine Geminids. By 11:40pm, more cloud cover was sweeping over, so I decided to call it a night, and the cold was beginning to bite just a little bit.

One thing I did notice, in my light polluted sky, is that Capella really does catch my attention - my eye kept being drawn to it.

Hope others had success in seeing some meteors.

Best wishes, Jeff.


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 Post subject: Re: Geminids 2017
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:51 pm
Posts: 769
Glad to know you'd had some luck with the Geminids, Jeff.

Here in NE England, Dec 13-14 proved to be a grand night, despite a withering, icy wind at times. I managed three hours of meteor observing then, scattered between 22:39 and 02:46 UT under mostly clear skies, with a limiting magnitude around +6.1. I lost about 50 minutes to an overcast spell which curtailed what would have been the first full hour, but the rest was clear enough to keep watching. Fatigue and the cold meant I decided to stop after that, although it was still clear by ~04h when I last looked out. And every time I checked the sky during the night, I seemed to see at least one Geminid, regardless of how poor the sky was at the time! In total, I spotted 202 Geminids and 31 sporadics during my actual observations, at up to four or five Geminids a minute several times, with a typical range of brightnesses and (a general lack of) trains from the Geminids, much as expected. I saw six Geminid fireballs, though none brighter than mag -4, at about 22:56:50 (in Ori), 23:29:30 (Eri), 01:59:00 (CMi --> CMa, ending very near Sirius), 02:22:20 (UMa --> Dra), 02:27:10 (Tau), and 02:43:45 (UMa).

Early indications from the International Meteor Organization's (IMO's) "live" Geminids webpage suggests Zenithal Hourly Rates (ZHRs) were in the 100-150 range throughout the European night of Dec 13-14. Back-of-envelope ZHR calculations based just on my own results suggested activity in the 110-130 range, so while these values will be clarified and refined over the coming days as more data arrives, this looks to have been a reasonably typical Geminid return by comparison to recent decades, when peak ZHRs have usually been around 120.

Some more early reports, with images, can be found among the SPA Meteor Section's webpages here.


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 Post subject: Re: Geminids 2017
PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:51 pm
Posts: 2417
Location: Stoke-on-Trent
Hello Alastair, that must have been an impressive sight to have witnessed 202 meteors in your three hour session. Interesting to look at the ZHR graph on the IMO website too.

Best wishes, Jeff.


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 Post subject: Re: Geminids 2017
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:41 am
Posts: 252
Location: Bruges (just over Channel)
I only had a clear sky 13/14 Dec, started 20h UT, only for 1.25 hour, still a low radiant, but 27 geminids seen (with 2 bright). The evening 14/15 again went for an hour, but so few seen, the activity obviously was rapidly down.

_________________
Thanks to the clear cold nights...


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 Post subject: Re: Geminids 2017
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:51 pm
Posts: 769
Thanks Jeff. Sorry for the slow response. My home router died quietly last weekend and I've only just got back online with a new one tonight.

The Geminids usually put on a similarly good display year on year, and have done for a long time, so are almost certainly the most reliable, strongest, annual meteor shower currently visible overall. However, what you see is naturally dependent on the local sky conditions. At this time of year for Britain, those are frequently unhelpful, of course, but from places with clear, transparent skies, what I was lucky to see this time is what anyone might spot too. Even 20-25 years ago, colleagues able to observe from the wonderful skies of southern France, for example, were routinely finding they could see 1000+ meteors in a single night close to the Geminid peak - indeed, the skies there could be so good, it was possible to see rates higher than the ZHR. That's what happens when the limiting magnitude's around the +6.5 to +7.0 mark though - as ZHRs are corrected "only" to a LM +6.5 sky!


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 Post subject: Re: Geminids 2017
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:46 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Kilwinning, North Ayrshire.
Hi,
After a fairly disasterous Dec 2016 I decided to take myself to Tenerife this December for some winter sun and to observe the Geminids.
I had 3 fully clear nights (12/13, 13/14 and 14/15) although the first and third nights were rather windy. Being at 2000m alt and despite the temp being just above zero the wind chill made it feel extremely cold! :shock:
However I got some great results on both video and photo. I've put a short time lapse on youtube from the morning of the peak. https://youtu.be/FA_7KSM0MPg
I conducted a couple of "watches" over a few hours. I calculated the zhr to be 128 +/- 11 (However given my poor eyesight if I include the "maybes" at the edge of vision this could creep up a bit to 142 +/-12.)
It was a great show but not many big fireballs. Certainly several in the -3 to -4 range. (the brightest one I both saw and imaged is towards the end of the timelapse).
cheers,
Bill.


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