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Geminid Meteor Shower

The Geminid Meteor Shower, one of the year's two most regularly active showers, peaks on the evening of Sunday, December 13 through the morning of the 14th. No moonlight in the sky this year means optimum dark-sky viewing (as long as clouds are absent). Meteor rates of up to 100 per hour are possible between midnight and 2am, assuming a clear, dark observing location and an unobstructed view of the entire sky. Rates will be somewhat less on the day before and the day after the peak date, and also less before midnight and after 2am.

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The Geminid Meteor Shower, one of the year's two most regularly active showers, peaks on the evening of Sunday, December 13 through the morning of the 14th. No moonlight in the sky this year means optimum dark-sky viewing (as long as clouds are absent). Meteor rates of up to 100 per hour are possible between midnight and 2am, assuming a clear, dark observing location and an unobstructed view of the entire sky. Rates will be somewhat less on the day before and the day after the peak date, and also less before midnight and after 2am.

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Comments
4

From everything I've read in other sources, the West Coast peak start time for this meteor shower is 9:10 p.m. Sunday, not midnight.

Dec. 13, 2009

The "global" peak of the Geminid meteor shower last night was predicted to be around 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. However, the radiant of the shower in the constellation Gemini was at that same time only about 30 degrees above the horizon seen locally, which means that the meteors were coming into the atmosphere obliquely and not directly straight down. That means fewer of them, on average. The radiant reached its highest point in the sky, nearly straight up, around 1 a.m. My estimate of the maximum rates (for San Diego specifically) of around midnight was developed with a consideration of these two factors in mind.

BTW, last night I observed the Geminid shower from Sunrise Highway through clearing clouds, and saw a nice display between approximately 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Hopefully others enjoyed good results elsewhere either early or late in the evening.

Dec. 14, 2009

Oops ... in the previous comment, I meant to say 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. (in two places), not 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. See what staying up late in the subfreezing mountains will do to you the next day!

Dec. 14, 2009

Damn clouds obscured the coast

Dec. 16, 2009

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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