Popular Astronomy

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Stumble It More...

2014 Geminids : early reports

Dec 12-13

A band of cloud and rain crossed much of the UK during this night, but some observers had clear skies for a while and several have posted short summaries via Facebook and Twitter.

Bill Ward (Glasgow) reports capturing spectra of 17 meteors and highlighted one Geminid spectrum which showed lines from magnesium, iron and a weaker line from sodium. He imaged 169 meteors in total, of which 133 were Geminids, the highlight being two Geminids captured in the image at 21:45 UT, reproduced here.

Bill also mentions a lucky escape in that he had only just moved his the last of his cameras under cover when a sleet shower started.

Paul Money (Lincs) reports spotting 12 Geminids while outside observing between 1am and 4am.

Richard Fleet (Wilcot, Wilts) operated video cameras as part of the UKMON network and imaged many Geminids. His most unusual capture however was at 05:44UT and showed a fuel discharge from a centaur rocket that was launching a spy satellite. This fuel discharge was also imaged by William Stewart (Cheshire)

Dec 13-14

Observers in the south and east of England appear to have had the best views of the Geminids during the night of Dec 13-14. Elsewhere, Tony Markham (Leek) experienced rather cloudy conditions with a veil of cloud reducing the limiting magnitude to 3.5, at best. Megan Argo reports that members of Macclesfield Astronomical Society only saw a few Geminids during the occasional cloud gap, but listened in to the Geminids via a radio receiver that they had set up. Pete Wiliamson reported cloudy skies in Shropshire.

Several SPA followers have posted short summaries of their results via Facebook and Twitter.

Paul Sutherland (Kent) reports setting up a camera and capturing a number of images of Geminids, including the one shown here.

This 'sickle' of Leo can be seen to the right of the meteor. The brightest object in the image is Jupiter. 

Paul also points out that the wispy object towards the bottom right is merely a small patch of cloud.

Robin Scagell (London) observed between 00:14 and 01:49UT (17 mins downtime, LM 5, decreasing to 4.5) and saw 40 meteors of which 37were Geminids.

Richard Pearce and Ghislaine report seeing about 30 Geminids between 2200 and 2225UT from Holbeach St Marks, Lincolnshire and capturing images of five.

David Gwynn reports that members of the DASH and LYRA groups observed from Kessingland, Suffolk and recorded 20 meteors in a 45 minute spell during the evening.

Paul Money (Lincs) reports spotting 27 Geminids and 1 sporadic between approx 2030UT and 2330UT.

Richard Fleet (Wilcot) operated several video cameras as part of the UKMON network and captured images of many Geminids throughout the night, several of which are reproduced below

Added by:  Tracie Heywood