Posted: Dec 13, 2019 4:14 am
by Macdoc
It's that time of year again and we might just have a clear sky tonight in S Ontario. Might take a staff up to the flying field.

Partner in Australia always gets up early so moon is down at 4 am there. Peak is tomorrow but it's clearer tonight and apparently the stream is rich in fireballs....I can attest to that in other years.

The Moon is full," reports Taichi Nakamura, who photographed the luminous orb rising above Miyazaki, Japan, on Dec. 12th.

Lunar glare is nearly overwhelming the Geminids, making it impossible to see a majority of the shower's faint meteors. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on Dec. 13-14. In a moonless year, sky watchers could expect to see dozens of meteors per hour flying from the constellation Gemini high in the midnight sky. This year, rates will be reduced 5-fold or more.

Now for the good news: The shower is relatively rich in fireballs. Debris from 3200 Phaethon is dense and gravelly, less fragile than the comet dust of typical meteor showers. This gives the Geminids a boost in luminosity, allowing the brightest to be seen even under full Moon conditions.

If you would like to try to catch a Geminid fireball, go outside around midnight on Dec. 13-14 and watch the sky for an hour or so. Worst-case sceneario: You'll get a great view of the Moon.