This year's Geminid meteor shower looks set to be a good 'un for European stargazers, with hopefully clear skies coupled with a slim waxing crescent Moon offering ideal conditions for the lightshow. According to New Scientist, the Geminids should peak at around 1745 GMT tomorrow. Observers in Asia are advised to look skywards …
It's wet and cold and raining. All of which wouldn't matter a bit, if only I could still see the sky.*
*No, I don't count a low grey overcast as 'sky.' Sky has stars in it.
for the heads-up.
Hang on - you're advising us to watch the pretty shooting stars?
Have you not read 'Day of the Triffids'? We'll all be blind by morning! Will no-one think of the children?
Hat, coat, passing comet...
Where is Gemini?
I'm going to be at 35000ft travelling northwest from London at that time tomorrow.
Should have a good view, but only if I get a window seat on the correct side of the aircraft.
Can anyone tell me port or starboard <grin> ?
The following online sky maps are free:
If you're heading westward it's towards the setting sun so light pollution may be an issue.
The most spectacular meteor I've ever seen was from a plane, so you might be lucky.
Every time there's an astronomical event (meteors, eclipse, comet etc) the pundits always tell us it will be "spectacular". It never is.
Even when the event isn't clouded in or rained off and you're away from light pollution - a mean trick in itself in the UK, unless you live on Dartmoor or the scottish Highlands, it's rarely even up to watching a plane go over at night.
Now pardon me for actually reading the article, but a "few dozen meteors per hour", or one every minute or two is not exactly a firework display.
What seems to happen is columnists who have no idea what they're talking about see an article that was written by and for amateur astronomers. They think "wow!" and copy it, adding a few embellishments to sexy it up and print it. I just wish these writers would stick to things they know about and quit the incessant hype.
You really are a wet blanket, aren't you? I've been lucky enough to see several meteor showers over the years from places such as Cornwall, Scotland and even a little village about 10 miles outside of Brumigum and they are always fantastic. Sure, normally there is too much cloud, (did you know that a meteor storm will actually ADD to the cloud cover, therefor making it harder to see? Extra particulate matter in the atmosphere don't you know....) and all the light pollution means you have to be in the right place at the right time, but i think they are always worth trying to see. Let your inner child be free!
Where is Gemini?
Having listened to my wife when she's on her great big bloody telescope (continuously pointing out constellations in the vain hope I'll be interested) reckon it's Easterly and I'd guess at about 35 degrees elevation or so (these are my approximations from her pointing the damn thing out to me).
Three things things - firstly, "a few dozen meteors per hour" is for the U.S. where they'll miss the peak due to it being during their daylight hours - thus that figure is for when the show's tailing off (comet, tail... hat, coat, taxi...)
Secondly, if you don't find shooting stars impressive, and know this in advance, then fair enough - no-one's making you watch. And noo-ne (I assume) made you read the article when you knew in advance you'd find it annoying... so why did you? Personally I enjoy watching shooting stars - although it's always nicer if you're doing so with someone you love - your wife, girlfriend, kids, or a combination of the above (your wife wife *and* your girlfriend? Hey, it could happen...)
And thirdly - who killed your puppy, dude? "Wet blanket" is an understatement here...
(This post needs more "Cheer Up Emo Kid" icon)
defnitely worth seeing
I saw my first genuine meteor shower shooting stars in the summer, (can't remember which shower it was), it was a nice warm night and I was in the garden of a friends house enjoying a drink, when suddenly we both noticed a shooting star, and then after craning our necks for at least 5 more minutes, we both saw another.
I thought it was fantastic, unlike anythnig I had seen before, and really brought home the notion of our little ball flying through space with various other things interacting with it.
OK I'd had a smoke, but still, it was far out man.
A romantic evening
I was out on a first date with a female some years back, we both saw a shooting star and thought it was romantic. Didn't work out though.
Wet blanket, door, taxi!
what a washout!
nothing but cloud, cloud, and more cloud. Another spectacular celestial non-event for the UK. I didn't see that Comet Kahoutek back in 1973 either, and I've seen bob all since. Even the eclipse was a washout, and that was in summertime :(