Author Options:

Catch a Christmas Present. Answered

From my inbox this afternoon:
GEMINID METEOR SHOWER: This weekend, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from extinct comet 3200 Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower. Forecasters expect more than 100 meteors per hour to fly out of the constellation Gemini when the shower peaks on Dec. 13th and 14th. For most observers, the best time to look will be from 10 pm local time on Sunday night to dawn on Monday morning. Visit http://spaceweather.com for photos, a sky map, and live audio from a meteor radar.
Sounds like a chance to arrange a unique Christmas gift for a loved one.

Update: I've done a bit more reading about the Geminids, and they may not be suitable for collection by magnets.  It seems they are the rocky remains of a dead comet, so lack metallic iron.

However, I have added a map so you can work out where to look.


 Cool! Any chance I'll be able to see it here in the Harbor?

East, about 60o up, I think. (Based on midnight Sunday)


Too much cloud cover, I couldn't see anything. (At least it snowed a bit!) That, and the trees were in the way. 

Looking at a google map of your location, I'm afraid you might not, due to light pollution.

But, if you can get dark enough, check the skymap I've added to the OP to see where to look.  Apparently the best time to check will be local midnight, Sunday, when you may see 200 meteors per hour.

Last time I looked - 100% cloud cover, I don't think you've got it any better?


Only light cloud, but too much light pollution - Gemini is directly behind the neighbour's Christmas lights...

I'm OK for light-pollution, but it's still 100%...


Still covered, might try to wake-up early.


Thanks for reminding me. We want to be looking roughly east at about 20o ascension - yes?


Depends on the time, the radiant point travels across the sky as the earth rotates...in a six-hour timespan from sunset to midnight, the sky has shifted ninety degrees. Orion, Taurus, and the Pleiades are easy to find, just follow them to Gemini (which isn't quite as recognizable).

If all else fails, just look up. You won't see anything at the radiant point anyway, they're coming right at you. The nice streaks are in a big ring. When you see a couple, follow them backward to find the source.

I hope the clouds here, dissipate before tomorrow....

The forecast here says we will have clear skies before midnight.

All I have to do is stay awake (it was the Cub "sleep" over Friday night - they didn't all settle until 02:00, and the first ones awake were up at 04:00.

Good bit of fun, though.  My "base" was making matchstick rockets, which we fired out of the hall doors.  We had a distance record, when one cub managed to hit a van parked just outside the doors.

It is raining now, and cloudy, and it is 3:30 PM.  I am not really holding much hope for a decent viewing.  

Sounds like you all had a good bit of fun, for sure. :-) 

I'm starting at 10 PM in the UK with that.


Yeah, I tend to have the luck that it will be cloudy....but this sounds interesting if it snows.....even so, I will read your ible more carefully and see what I can do.... ;-) 
Hmm, now I realize why I didn't do this when you first put it out.....lack of proper area outside....

You could always wrap a magnet in a plastic bag, and leave it in the bottom of the down-spout to catch any meteorites that may land on the roof and get washed down.

I will have to try something like that....I just got a small packet of fairly strong neodymium magnets that just might work for something like this...

I hope it isn't snowing tomorrow night so I can see it!