In case you didn’t know, the most awesome meteor shower of the year is here again! Tonight (Dec 12-13), and especially tomorrow night (Dec 13-14), go out and see this stunning show of shooting stars. The weather forecast here in Newfoundland is fair, it has been a mixed bag all week with everything from crystal clear skies to snow and rain on the menu for the peak night, but at the moment the forecast reads ‘cloudy periods/mainly clear’. All these theoretical weather predictions can’t be influenced anyway, so I’ll just have to go out and find out what can be seen in the real world.
Most people that read this don’t want to go outside in the middle of the night and freeze their butts off, but if you do: try and get as far away from any light sources, and for optimal viewing even wait until the moon sets (around midnight). There’s no particular direction you should be facing, just look up and enjoy, I know I will!
UPDATE (Night of Dec 12-13): Well, how many did you see last night? I was out from 1 to 4 AM and I saw dozens of shooting stars. The weather was very cooperative initially but from 2 AM onwards the clouds really started piling up and intruding into my open view of the night sky, until there was no night sky left at 4 AM (this was out on Cobbler Path). Remember this was not the peak night, that’s tonight (Dec 13-14), so there’s another chance if you’ve missed out. Tonight promises to have many more meteors than last night, so I’ll be outside again for sure. Here’s a shot with two Geminids from last night, short and furiously fast, typical for 90% of the meteors I saw last night:
UPDATE (Night of Dec 13-14): What a night, what an awesome night. I was out on three different locations for a total of almost 12 hours, during the peak hours (2 AM to 4 AM) I saw as many as a hundred meteors every hour. The skies were mostly clear, the venues were dark, and the observer (me) was awestruck and pleased as punch. Most meteors were similar to the ones I saw the night before, but there were a lot of slower, brighter and longer ones too, some even left brief smoke trails in the sky, and I saw one meteor breaking up into bright fireballs, like something out of a Hollywood movie. Seeing them and photographing them are two completely different things though, here’s a shot with two Geminids in it: