Author Topic: [Baa-ebulletin 00546] GEMINID METEOR ACTIVITY INCREASING  (Read 921 times)

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BAA e-bulletin, 2010 Dec. 12

BAA observers have reported the first meteors of this year's Geminid meteor shower, which is expected to peak around dawn on Tuesday, December 14. The maximum is broad, however, and it is important to have a spread of observers making observations on nights both before and after maximum. During last year's very favourable display, peak Geminid Zenithal Hourly Rates approached 140 m/h, and similar rates may be expected this year in the pre-dawn hours.

The Geminid radiant (at RA 07h 32m  Dec +33o, just north of Castor) rises early on and reaches a respectable altitude well before midnight, but observers will achieve better results in the early morning hours this year because the waxing gibbous Moon in Pisces will rather hamper observations earlier in the night. The early morning hours of December 14, as dawn approaches, are likely to yield the best observed rates this year, but watches on the mornings of December 13 and 15 should also be worthwhile, with the radiant still high in the sky.

Active through to Thursday, December 16, the Geminids are currently the most active of the regular annual showers, with rates outstripping those of the Perseids for a 24-hour interval centred on the peak - a real treat for observers prepared to brave the winter cold and damp.

Additional information about the Geminid shower is given in the 'Notes and News' section of the December BAA Journal.

For further details, or copies of report forms, observing notes, and details of how to carry out group meteor watches, please visit the BAA Meteor Section website at or contact the undersigned:

John Mason
Acting Director, BAA Meteor Section
(c) 2010 British Astronomical Association