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Geminids Meteor Shower 2020

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#51 Sheol

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 01:59 PM

                   Yes, all the meteors I have seen with this shower have a definite blue tinge. The brighter they are, the bluer they are as well. Not sure I'd say that would be a hard and fast rule for the Geminids, but for all the ones I have seen it has been. Well, the peak has past, but I'll try for some more tonight. Actually, I will be trying to make up for the Saturday night session killed by early overcast. I am so grateful for that temp. clearing at midnight Sunday. What a show!

 

        Clear Skies,

            Matt.



#52 REC

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 02:31 PM

Well, I'm glad some of you got to see some good ones! We got rained out last night. I saw on good one last week and was looking forward to seeing this one. The only good shower still is the Leonoids in 2000.



#53 emh52

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 02:50 PM

                   Yes, all the meteors I have seen with this shower have a definite blue tinge. The brighter they are, the bluer they are as well. Not sure I'd say that would be a hard and fast rule for the Geminids, but for all the ones I have seen it has been. Well, the peak has past, but I'll try for some more tonight. Actually, I will be trying to make up for the Saturday night session killed by early overcast. I am so grateful for that temp. clearing at midnight Sunday. What a show!

 

        Clear Skies,

            Matt.

It is likely you could still have decent numbers tonight even 1/3 of last night would still be decent- a fireball and a few bright ones is a very nice night attached is the international meteor organization observations-  1/3 of last night is still good numbers. 

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#54 tjw1012

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 03:49 PM

Totally cloudy at my location... ):



#55 RMay

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 05:51 PM

Rain all day for the last two days in northern central California (east of Sac). Will try tonight if it clears up.

 

Ron



#56 Sheol

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 07:23 PM

              I'll try & catch some more as I dark adapt my eyes. Though tonight is more about my 'Scope than my Mak II Eyeball observations. It would certainly be nice! Even just one or two nice fireballs would make my evening! LOL

 

            Clear Skies,

                    Matt.



#57 grif 678

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 10:11 PM

Fog got me, starting getting foggy about the time that the sky was right for the shower to begin. But even with the fog, I saw several slow moving bright green looking ones, even through the fog. But a few minutes later, the fog got so thick, could not see anything any more. So the same old thing, weather messes up many things. I feel like it would have been a good shower if the fog had not set in so thick.



#58 Daveatvt01

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 02:25 AM

A good night of meteor watching near Tucson!

 

Geminids2020wide

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#59 chrysalis

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 04:46 AM

RANT STARTS NOW

 

My local newscast (WXII 12) is ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE at astronomical news.

 

1) Full of misspellings (example: last night, "Luner" instead of "Lunar"), and not ONLY astronomically oriented words!

2) The weather person was touting the Summer Triangle and its easy visibility a couple of weeks ago. So I sent them an image of it that accurately illustrated what it actually looks like in the sky. I'd also sent an image of Saturn and Jupiter. During the 5-5:30 PM weather slot, they put the latter image on the screen, attributed it to a wrong first name ("Rick" instead of "Mark"), and proudly stated it was an image of the Summer Triangle. I tried to fix it with emails, got a note back apologizing for the errors, and then they turned around and got my name right the next nigh biut - you probably guessed it by now - showed the Summer Triangle image and announced how it showed Saturn and Jupiter approaching each other!

3) Last straw responsible for this rant: last night, Monday, 12-14-20...past the peak of the Geminids...the newsperson announced that Tuesday night would be the peak of the shower, with over 100 meteors visible per hour.

 

Whoever their fact checkers and proofreaders are, they are NOT doing a very good job... I feel terribly sorry for all the budding little astronomers who take their info as gospel and then are disappointed...maybe never to get a high-level interest in astronomy because of their carelessness...

 

AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON SUPERMOON!!!


Edited by chrysalis, 15 December 2020 - 04:47 AM.

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#60 emh52

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 04:29 PM

The IMO shows the Geminids just died out the day after.... and I agree I ran four cameras last night and got only a couple of small ones in looking at images compared to a great show peak night before. Looks like a wrap for this year on this one, on to the Ursids next week before the great winter meteor drought.

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#61 Sheol

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 07:32 PM

         No activity for the shower, as I noted in my post in DSO observing. Was hoping for a few leftovers. No such luck.

 

    Matt.


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#62 Abhat

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 08:34 PM

Great report from you all. Snow showers here tomorrow. Up to 18". I don't want to miss it.



#63 Intheswamp

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 08:48 PM

Great report from you all. Snow showers here tomorrow. Up to 18". I don't want to miss it.

Are you going to set cameras up to catch some good flakes????


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#64 Wes Stone

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 08:50 PM

Friday was snowy, Saturday was foggy. Sunday was sleety. On Saturday, the Clear Sky Chart showed some possible clearing early Monday morning. By Sunday, this had been pushed back to about 4am Monday. When I looked at the forecast maps the chart was based on, they showed broken cloud bands rather than a definite clearing spell. I wasn’t too optimistic, but decided to prepare anyway.

 

On Sunday evening, there were a few cloud breaks, but all proved to be short-lived sucker holes. I stood outside for a while and saw a couple of Geminids in the breaks, but nothing spectacular. I decided to try to get some sleep but set an alarm every 75-90 minutes to get me up to look out. The first few alarms yielded more clouds, but when I got up at 1:45 I saw clear sky. The only question was: where to go?

 

My main close-in meteor observing site was a no-go after the recent snow, as it involves a very steep and narrow access road. My main quickie observing site in winter is a wildlife area that is officially closed between 10pm and 4am (I usually use it for evening observing, and by 10pm I’m frozen or dewed up anyway). There was a site about 25 minutes to the SW where I had observed Comet NEOWISE, and I thought it would be a good meteor observing site due to the good horizons. I had closer alternatives to the west, but they had poorer horizons and more skyglow. I also had a farther alternative to the South, but since it was technically closed after sunset and also technically over the border in California I decided against it. I hit the road just before 2am, headed SW. After I cleared the city, I started seeing Geminids. I forget the number I counted, maybe as many as 10. That was really impressive since I was watching the road and could only see a small part of the sky near the horizon. I saw a couple of fireball-class meteors.

 

The last few miles to my site were packed snow, so I took about 30 minutes to get there. Skies remained clear, although I could see a faint glow of distant lights off some clouds in the south. I also saw a low cloud bank to the west over the Cascade Mountains, and just hoped that it would stay put.

 

I set up my sleeping bag and started counting meteors at 2:36am. Rates seemed decent, and the Geminids were bright without producing any more fireballs. Skies could have been a bit more transparent, but generally the limiting magnitude was around 6.5. Trouble hit about 10 minutes in with a passing cloud band, but that went away fairly quickly. Big trouble hit 30 minutes in with more clouds, enough to make me quit counting for 20 minutes. After that, it would clear up for a few minutes and then cloud up for many minutes. The clouds were coming from the south. Only my first 30 minutes were really productive data. In those 30 minutes, I saw 28 Geminids and 6 other meteors. Mean Geminid magnitude was 1.6. An equivalent ZHR would have been about 62, so the Geminids were likely already on a steep decline from their peak.

 

I left for good at 4:30 after a light snow started falling. After a few minutes on the road, I emerged into clear skies. I’m not sure; maybe the clouds only picked on the immediate vicinity of my observing site. I saw fewer Geminids on the way back—about 4. One was really neat as I looked up to see it streaking in the direction I was headed. It felt close and 3-dimensional. I decided to pull in at my close-in site at the wildlife area, since it was after 4am. If the skies stayed clear, I could get in an hour of counting before twilight became too bright.

I started my hour at 5:06am. There were a few clouds early, and then I had unobstructed skies. Transparency wasn’t great, and my limiting magnitude was 6.3. For the hour, I counted 30 Geminids and 6 other meteors. I saw a couple of near-fireballs, and a bunch of Geminids from Procyon-bright to Sirius-bright, but none of the ground-lighting fireballs I was hoping for. Mean Geminid magnitude was 1.3, and the ZHR was about 47.

 

In a way, it was a stroke of good fortune for me to see anything from this year’s Geminids. It is just so rare to get good weather conditions this time of year. In another way, it was frustrating because I know I didn’t see the shower at its best. If only the clearing had happened a few hours earlier … But maybe I should have tried a closer site, or set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier, or just gone out and camped somewhere and called in sick to work. In any case, it looks like the Perseids won this year for me lol.gif .

 

Wes Stone

Klamath Falls, OR (aka Oregon's "City of Sunshine")

http://skytour.homes...om/met2020.html


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#65 emh52

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 10:48 PM

I am working on finishing the photos, for me in Tucson this was a quite nice shower, one of my better ones. I must of hit a good stream in the peak. Attached are a couple of the paired photos one an Earthgrazer, the earliest evening Geminid I have ever captured, and the other a fireball. Links to full resolution.

 

https://www.flickr.c...t_photos/fj026f

 

https://flic.kr/p/2khpGmW

 

a little more photo work and on to the Ursids next week.

 

 

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  • CN Gem 1.jpg
  • CN Gm 2.jpg

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#66 NYJohn S

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 08:33 AM

I am working on finishing the photos, for me in Tucson this was a quite nice shower, one of my better ones. I must of hit a good stream in the peak. Attached are a couple of the paired photos one an Earthgrazer, the earliest evening Geminid I have ever captured, and the other a fireball. Links to full resolution.

 

https://www.flickr.c...t_photos/fj026f

 

https://flic.kr/p/2khpGmW

 

a little more photo work and on to the Ursids next week.

Nice! I saw one of your images in my EarthSky email this morning. 



#67 littleredstar

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 10:40 AM

Checking in a bit late on this thread but I had favorable weather December 13/14, peak night. Got out in the Flint Hills of Kansas for a clear dark sky (6.1 visual LM, 6.4 SQM reading midnight). I arrived at my usual site after dark which made things a bit difficult to setup as the wind and temp was annoying to say the least.  NW wind at 10mph, gusting bit higher with temps then around 24 F (-4 C).

 

The usual peak (timing) was occurring right as Gemini rose over east horizon but activity was lower than I expected. Traditional peak is 262.2 Solar Longitude (SL) and the graphs posted here from IMO live reports confirm it was right on time this year. Perhaps the clouds far to the east of me affected things, idk. Was hoping to see more earth grazers. Had two cameras running but I did not expect the serious frost problems I had. Cameras were toast in an hour shocked.gif. Needed industrial strength dew heaters for this night, did not have that so no pictures unfortunately.

 

Started serious observing and logging meteors at 20:30 CST, I put in 4 hours effective observing time and saw 211 Geminids. Many bright fireball level ones.  Had to take several long warmup breaks as the temp stayed around 20 F (-6 C) all night with constant 5-10 mph wind. I stopped observing at 2:00 CST as the activity a bit less and I was getting tired. Frost was ridiculous, it was building up in chunks on my blanket. Needed an ice scrapper to clear off the SQM meter periodically (kidding but close).

 

Certainly a great show! The meteor rate and total count was lower than my 2018 observing campaign but there were a greater number of bright meteors this time. Mass sorting I guess, be interesting to read analysis later.

 

This year 262.2 SL was before the Geminds rose in the central US, slightly favored Europe. The next best shot for observing near peak time in the US is 2025 when the peak (262.2) will be about 1:30 CST Dec 14. That is nearly perfect timing for central US as the radiant will be directly overhead!!

 

Next year and 2022 the moon is a serious problem which is a pity as 2022 the timing would be pretty good. In 2023 the peak happens in the middle of the day for the US so best plan is to observer the night of the 13/14th, be on the rising side of the curve as the rate drops off rapidly after peak.

 

Congrats to those that got clear skies and observed. Without a doubt the Geminids are the finest meteor shower of the year. I've observed them for many years now and it seems the shower gets stronger every year. Timing is so important if you want to catch the best show and its something we don't have control over.

 

ps Ursids look interesing this year so I'm hoping to get out to see them for the first time ever: 

 

https://www.amsmeteo...shower-in-2020/


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#68 Sheol

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 07:33 PM

                 The number of meteors I saw in the few minutes I was essentially in a giant sucker hole has me convinced. This is THE METEOR SHOWER. The Perseieds are very much hit & miss. I have watched other showers in the past, but those were actually rare streams or nearly forgotten ones. I will mark the December shower a MUST SEE Event. I am also interested in trying the Orionids but always forget to watch or weather kills them.

 

       Clear Skies,

          Matt.

       PS.

        The Geminids are the BEST shower of the year, until proven other wise.



#69 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 20 December 2020 - 01:48 AM

I posted a fireball report on the bright meteor that I saw on December 13th on the AMS website.

https://amsmeteors.o...w/report/217706

Here's an iPhone photo that I took of Gemini and Orion on the night of the Geminids using the camera's Night Mode.

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  • Gemini and Orion 12-13-20 IMG_0094 Processed Resized 900.jpg

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