Lookin’ For Geminids

Early this morning was supposed to be the peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower, but unfortunately it’s two degrees F. outside. The up side is that cold nights often have rock-steady and clear skies, if you can bear being out under them in such malign conditions.

I went to sleep at about midnight last night hoping that I’d have to get up to pee sometime during the wee hours of Tuesday morning. My wish came true, and after voiding my bladder I put on a jacket and stepped outside to see what was up, so to speak. It was 4:30 AM. The twin stars Castor and Pollux in Gemini were near the zenith. This pair of stars is striking; they are bright and they’re about two inches apart at arm’s length; i.e., if I hold my thumb and forefinger two inches apart and extend my arm, Castor would be by my forefinger and Pollux near my thumb.

I saw one bright meteor flash by, but when it’s that cold ten minutes is about my limit if I’m not walking.

I slept for a while, then got up again at about 5:30, just before dawn. This time I saw two nice meteor trails, but clouds were beginning to move in so I called it a morning.

Here’s what I could have seen had I been very lucky and had happened to be in a desert region with perfect night-time skies. This photo was taken by Wally Pacholka during another Geminid shower:

Pacholka Image

There’s always next year!




Filed under Natural History, Quincy

5 responses to “Lookin’ For Geminids

  1. Darrell

    That Geminid trail is close to being like a Leoid trail I saw once; it lit up the landscape like some sort of green atrificial light, casting sharp moving shadows as it passed overhead, and left a trail that lingered for a minute or more.

  2. Virginia

    Will you be watching the total eclipse of the moon tonight/tomorrow morning. It’s too cloudy in Kansas City but maybe it is clearer in Quincy? We may alll have to check the Internet for the Oo-os and Ah-hs of this special event on Winter Solstice.

  3. Joan

    Awhile back Darrell posted a web page with wonderful star stuff pictures perhaps taken by satellite. Can’t remember the title and the original post was on a former incarnation of Rambles. Darrell, if you aren’t out Xmas shopping, could you help us out?

  4. Darrell

    Joan it may have been Astronomy Picture of thr Day, or The World At Night (TWAN)?

    Bah Humbug!!! No Christmas shopping this year.

  5. Joan

    Thanks Darrell, It might have been both. I do remember TWAN and I will remember it from now on cause it sounds like Twain.
    We have not done any shopping either. Unless you count food for Xmas eve dinner. I give my guys poem books of the years collection and CD’s of a years worth of photographs. They are much more interested in the checks. (grin)

    Ho Ho HO!

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