The Geminids

There are several good meteor showers each year and December brings us the Geminids. The peak is due around December 13th/14th but spotting 'shooting stars' will be difficult due to the brightness of the near full moon (or impossible due to cloud if you live near me). It is suggested that 20 per hour may be the best you can hope for this year even if you are at a good location. Still, it might be worth a try. My tips are to wrap up warm (at least two pairs of socks is essential for winter observers!) then lay down on a deck chair (lawn chair) looking straight up early in the evening or at about 45° later in the night. If you have radio equipment you can even try listening for Geminids.

I was reading about the history of observations of the Geminids and I see that the first person to note them was a man by the name of Robert P. Greg - a fellow Manchester resident (albeit 143 years ago). Of course back then there wasn't much light pollution to worry about but, in the heat of the industrial revolution, there may have been other issues affecting Manchester-based astronomers; factory smoke!

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 12th Dec 2005 (00:18 UTC) | Permalink
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