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 meteor shower

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psychicbait
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/ten-tips-for-watching-the-geminid-meteor-shower
Quote:
December 11th, 2010 - Astronomy Essentials

The best time to watch December’s 2010 Geminid meteor shower is midnight to dawn, December 14. You should also see meteors on nights before and after that. A dark sky, with no moon, will ensure the most meteor sights. Best direction to look? The meteors radiate from a point that’s east in mid-evening – and overhead by 2 a.m. But, like all meteors in annual showers, they will appear in all parts of the sky.

Here are EarthSky’s top 10 tips for watching this shower.

1. The Geminids are one of the year’s best meteor showers. The Geminids often produce 50 or more meteors per hour, or nearly a meteor a minute.

2. This shower will be better after the moon sets. On the expected peak night, December 13, that will be around midnight. Click here for a sky almanac that will give the moon’s precise setting time in your sky. The Geminid radiant – the point in the sky from which these meteors appear to radiate – climbs over the eastern horizon around 7 p.m. local time for our mid-northern latitudes. Very few meteors can be seen when the radiant is this low in the sky. However, this is the time to look for earthgrazers – meteors that travel horizontally across the sky.

3. Dark skies are essential. Find a place to observe in the country. You don’t need to know the constellations to enjoy the Geminid meteor shower, just an open view of the sky. The Geminids streak all across the heavens, and through many different constellations. However, why not learn a constellation or two, and check out the planet Jupiter in the evening sky? Then watch for the planet Venus to rise in the east a few hours before dawn.

4. In 2010, the waning gibbous moon won’t set till late night. Nonetheless the best viewing for these meteors is during the wee hours after midnight, at which time the moon will have set. These meteors should start to fly around mid-evening. The meteor numbers intensify as evening deepens into late night, with the greatest numbers falling an hour or two after midnight.

5. Most meteors in annual showers originate in comets. But the parent of the Geminid meteor shower is a mysterious body named 3200 Phaethon. This solar system object is termed an Apollo (near-Earth) asteroid, and it might be a dormant comet.

6. If you were to track the Geminid meteors backwards on the sky’s dome, you’d find them streaming from the a point in the sky within the boundaries of the constellation Gemini the Twins. This point – called the radiant point – lies close to Gemini’s bright star, Castor.

7. Radiant points are fun to think about. But you don’t need to know the constellation Gemini to see the meteor shower. On the night of the shower, Geminid meteors will streak all over the sky. The higher the radiant, the more meteors that you are likely to see. The radiant soars highest in the sky around 2 a.m. local time

8. The best way to watch meteors is to bring along a buddy. Both of you watch different parts of the sky. If one of you sees one, shout out “meteor!” If you don’t know which way to look, just gaze upward.

9. Special equipment? Not necessary. You only need a dark sky, a reclining lawn chair and the warmth of a sleeping bag. However, watching a meteor shower is not like turning on the television. You can’t expect to just look out the window, or simply step outside to see meteors. Your eyes take some 20 minutes to dark-adapt. Give yourself at least an hour of viewing time. Even the best meteor showers have lulls and spurts.

10. As a wise man once said, meteor watching is a lot like fishing. You go outside. You enjoy nature all around you. You hope you catch some!



Here's a link to a viewing guide for this year's Geminid shower
http://spacedex.com/geminids/
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buried under 419 emails
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I hope I can see it. When stuff like this happens it’s usually cloudy.

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Gold Hat
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I live up north here in Fokitscold Canada. The expected temperature at moon set will be about negative 31° C. (Pastor Frank - that will be -23.8 °F (Fahrenheit) )

So you want me to find a buddy who is bat-shit crazy enough to go out in the deadly cold, in the darkest part of the night, to watch tiny bits of light flash by in microseconds. Hmmmmmmmm . . . .

Is it okay for us to poke each other in the eye with pointed sticks after the meteors . . . I mean to enhance the enjoyment of the experience . . . if ya get my drift . . .

It's too bad that Callum and Klaasvaak don't live close by . . . .
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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Gold Hat wrote:
The expected temperature at moon set will be about negative 31° C. .


Canadians, always so dramatic.

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psychicbait
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^So true, PF, so true.
Those temps.
Yawn.
Nothing Zubrowka wouldn't take care of.
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