.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

 

Geminid Meteor Shower 13-15 December 2022

The northern horizon at 1:00 am ACDST as seen from Adelaide on Thursday December 15 before the Moon gets too high. The Geminid radiant is marked with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at  a similar latitude and the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).The northern horizon at 0:30 am AEST as seen from Brisbane on Thursday December 15 before the Moon gets too high. The Geminid radiant is marked with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at  a similar latitude and the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).


The Geminids are unusual meteor shower in that their parent body is 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid, rather than a comet. It is speculated though that Phaeton is actually a "gassed out" comet, and so the debris that makes up the Geminids may still be cometary particles, but is more likely broken rock fragments from its close approach to the sun.

The Geminids are usually a fairly reliable meteor shower however this year the the waning Moon is almost on top of the radiant at the peak and there is a narrow window before Moon rise on the morning of the 15th when the rates should be good.

The Geminids have a broad peak and normally show good activity well before and after the peak on the day before and after. The peak is December 14, unfortunately the 75% illuminated waning Moon is close to the radiant. So the best time is on the morning of the 15th, when the Moon is further away. As the radiant doesn't rise until just before midnight (daylight saving time) in most of Australia, and the Moon rises around 1:00 am you will still have to disturb your sleep for this one.

Northern Australians should see a meteor every 2 to 3  minutes under dark skies in the early morning of the 15th between 23:30 pm (14th) and 2:00 am local time (15th). Obviously under suburban skies you will see fewer.

Once the Moon rises the meteors will rapidly become washed washed out.

You can find predictions for your local site at the meteor flux estimator (choose 4 Geminids and date 14-15 December, don't forget to change the date to 2022). You will have to enter your local latitude and longitude for your site. I have also made a table for major cities below.

Unfortunately, both Chrome and Firefox have changed their security settings to prevent plugins from running, and the flux estimator only runs under Internet Explorer now.
You can follow the progress of the shower at the IMO Geminids Live page.

At 1.00 am in the morning AEDST (midnight, AEST) Castor (alpha Geminorum) is about three hand-spans above the horizon and roughly north-east. Pollux, the other twin, is less than a hand-span to the right again. The radiant is just below Pollux. The best rates is when the radiant is highest,when it is due north,  unfortunately the rising Moons light will begin to wash them out..

When you get up, allow at least 5 minutes for your eyes to adjust and become dark adapted (even if you have stumbled out of bed in the dark, here's some hints on dark adaption of your eyes so you can see meteors better). 
 
Be patient, it may be several minutes before you are rewarded with you first meteor, then a couple will come along in quick succession (a meteor every 1 to 2 minutes is an average, they won't turn up like a ticking clock but more or less randomly).

Predicted meteor rates for selected towns
 

Locations on the same latitude as...

Morning December 13

Morning December 14 (peak)

Morning December 15 (best)

Morning December 16

Darwin

5 meteors/hr

14 meteors/hr

33 meteors/hr

9 meteors/hr

Brisbane/Perth

4 meteors/hr

10 meteors/hr

25 meteors/hr

6 meteors/hr

Sydney/Adelaide/Canberra

3 meteors/hr

9 meteors/hr

19 meteors/hr

5 meteors/hr

Melbourne

3 meteors/hr

8 meteors/hr

16 meteors/hr

4 meteors/hr

Hobart

3 meteors/hr

6 meteors/hr

12 meteors/hr

3 meteors/hr

 
 
Choose a viewing spot where you can see a large swathe of sky without trees or buildings getting in the way, or with street lights getting in your eyes. The darker the spot the better (but do be sensible, don't choose a spot in an insalubrious park for example). 
 
While the radiant is where the meteors appear to originate from, most of the meteors will be seen away from the radiant, so don't fixate on the radiant, but keep your eye on a broad swath of sky roughly centered just above the radiant (as the radiant doesn't rise very high, looking exactly at the radiant will mean you miss some higher up).

A lawn chair or something similar will make your observing comfortable (or a picnic rug spread on the ground and a nice pillow), and having a Thermos of hot coffee, tea or chocolate to swig while watching will increase your comfort. Despite it being summer, make sure you have a jumper or something as the night can still get cold.

Guides to taking meteor photos are here and here.

As well, Mars, Orion and the Hyades will be visible. So it will be a quite nice morning for sky watching. Keep an eye out for satellites! There may be a bright ISS pass on the morning of the 14th from your location.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.  

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

Labels: , ,


Monday, December 05, 2022

 

Thursday December 8 to Thursday December 15

Full Moon is Thursday December 8.  Jupiter is easy to see as brightest object in the evening sky aside from the Moon. Mars is now rising well before midnight, and is at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 8th, when it is above the full Moon. Mercury and Venus climb higher in the evening twilight. Geminid meteor shower December 15.

Full Moon is Thursday December 8. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on December 12.

Evening sky on Saturday, December 10 as seen from Adelaide at 21:06 ACDST, (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). Venus and Mercury are low above the horizon in the twilight. You will need a low, unobstructed horizon to see them clearly.




   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset).

Evening sky on Thursday, December 8 as seen from Adelaide at 22:06 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset(click to embiggen). Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii.


 

Mars is at opposition, when is at its biggest and brightest as seen from Earth. The Full Moon is The inset is the telescopic view at this time.


   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 

Evening sky on Saturday, December 10 as seen from Adelaide at 22:08 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii with Jupiter to the north-west.



 

The insets are the telescopic views of Saturn and Jupiter at the same magnification at this time.

 Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). 


 
Whole sky on Saturday, December 10 as seen from Adelaide at 22:08 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). The Moon, Saturn , Jupiter and Mars are visible spanning the sky from horizon to horizon.

Orion the Hunter, is rising in the east. Taurus the Bull and Sirius are now prominent in the eastern sky

Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are another wealth of binocular objects to discover but the moons light interferes substantially.

 

  

 Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 

The northern horizon at 0:30 am AEST as seen from Brisbane on Thursday December 15 when the Geminid radiant is high before Moon rise. The Geminid radiant is marked with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at  a similar latitude and the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

The Geminids are usually a fairly reliable meteor shower and with the waning Moon nearby  rates will not be the best, but still worth.

The Geminids have a broad peak and normally will show good activity well before and after the peak on the day before and after. The peak is December 13, but with the Moon almost on top of the radiant the best rates are on the morning of the 15th from around midnight until 2 -3 am.  As the radiant doesn't rise until just before midnight (daylight saving time) in most of Australia, and the Moon rises around 1:00 am you will still have to disturb your sleep for this one.

Mercury climbs out of the twilight.

Venus climbs out of the twilight.

Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii, the tips of the horns of the Bull, but is now moving up the horns back towards red Aldebaran. Mars is  is at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 8th, with the Full Moon below.

Jupiter climbs higher in the late evening sky was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 27th of September. Jupiter is visible all evening. Jupiter is close to the waxing Moon on the 2nd.

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii. Saturn was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 15th of August. Saturn is close to the crescent Moon on the 29th.

 
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the current time.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

Labels:


Monday, November 28, 2022

 

Thursday December 1 to Thursday December 8

First Quarter Moon is Thursday December 1, Full Moon is Thursday December 8.  Jupiter is easy to see as brightest object in the evening sky aside from the Moon and is close to the waxing Moon on the 2nd. Mars is now rising well before midnight, and is at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 8th. Mercury and Venus climb higher in the evening twilight.

First Quarter Moon is Thursday December 1, Full Moon is Thursday December 8. 

 

Evening sky on Saturday, December 3 as seen from Adelaide at 20:45 ACDST, (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). Venus and Mercury are low above the horizon in the twilight. You will need a low, unobstructed horizon like the ocean to see them clearly (and possibly binoculars as well).




   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset).

Evening sky on Thursday, December 8 as seen from Adelaide at 22:06 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset(click to embiggen). Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii.


 

Mars is at opposition, when is at its biggest and brightest as seen from Earth. The Full Moon is The inset is the telescopic view at this time.


   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 

Evening sky on Friday, December 2 as seen from Adelaide at 21:59 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii with Jupiter to the north. The waxing Moon is close to Jupiter.



 

The insets are the telescopic views of Saturn and Jupiter at the same magnification at this time.

 Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 
 
Whole sky on Saturday, December 3 as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). The Moon, Saturn , Jupiter and Mars are visible spanning the sky from horizon to horizon.

Scorpius is sinking in the western horizon with the teapot of Sagittarius above. The low altitude makes the clusters of Sagittarius hard to make out.

The Scorpions foe, Orion the Hunter, is rising in the east.

Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are another wealth of binocular objects to discover but the moons light interferes substantially.

 

  

 Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 

Mercury climbs out of the twilight.

Venus climbs out of the twilight.

Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii, the tips of the horns of the Bull, but is now moving up the horns back towards red Aldebaran. Mars is  is at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 8th, with the Full Moon below.

Jupiter climbs higher in the late evening sky was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 27th of September. Jupiter is visible all evening. Jupiter is close to the waxing Moon on the 2nd.

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii. Saturn was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 15th of August. Saturn is close to the crescent Moon on the 29th.

 
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the current time.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

Labels:


Monday, November 21, 2022

 

Thursday November 24 to Thursday December 1

The New Moon is Thursday, November 24, First Quarter Moon is Thursday December 1.  Jupiter is easy to see as brightest object in the evening sky aside from the Moon. Saturn is close to the crescent Moon on the 29th. Mars is now rising well before midnight, but is still best to see in the morning. Mars forms a triangle with the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii, the tips of the horns of the Bull, but is now moving up the horns back towards red Aldebaran. Mars is at its closest to Earth on December the 1st. Mercury and Venus climb higher in the evening twilight but are difficult to see.

The New Moon is Thursday, November 24, First Quarter Moon is Thursday December 1. 

 

Evening sky on Saturday, November 26 as seen from Adelaide at 20:38 ACDST, (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). Venus and Mercury are low above the horizon in the twilight, with the crescent Moon above. You will need a low, unobstructed horizon like the ocean to see them clearly (and possibly binoculars as well).




   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset).

Evening sky on Saturday, November 26 as seen from Adelaide at 22:30 ACDST, (click to embiggen). Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii.


 

Mars is rising around 20:30 am non-daylight saving time (21:00 daylight saving time) but is still best seen in the morning. The inset is the telescopic view at this time.


   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time. 

 

Evening sky on Tuesday, November 29 as seen from Adelaide at 21:55 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii with Jupiter to the north. The crescent Moon is close to Saturn.



 

The insets are the telescopic views of Saturn and Jupiter at the same magnification at this time.

 Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). 


 
Whole sky on Saturday, November 26 as seen from Adelaide at 21:52 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). The Moon, Saturn , Jupiter and Mars are visible spanning the sky from horizon to horizon.

Scorpius is sinking in the western horizon with the teapot of Sagittarius above. The low altitude makes the clusters of Sagittarius hard to make out.

The Scorpions foe, Orion the Hunter, is rising in the east.

Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are another wealth of binocular objects to discover.

 

  

 Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 

Mercury climbs out of  the twilight.

Venus climbs out of  the twilight.

Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii, the tips of the horns of the Bull, but is now moving up the horns back towards red Aldebaran. Mars is at its closest to Earth on December the 1st.

Jupiter climbs higher in the late evening sky was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 27th of September. Jupiter is visible all evening.

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii. Saturn was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 15th of August. Saturn is close to the crescent Moon on the 29th.

 
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the current time.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

Labels:


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

 

Thursday November 17 to Thursday November 24

The New Moon is Thursday, November 24.  Jupiter is easy to see as brightest object in the evening sky aside from the Moon. Mars is now rising before midnight, but is still best to see in the morning. Mars forms a triangle with the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii, the tips of the horns of the Bull, but is now moving up the horns back towards red Aldebaran. Mercury and Venus enter the evening twilight but are nearly impossible to see.

The New Moon is Thursday, November 24. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 26th.

 

Evening sky on Thursday, November 24 as seen from Adelaide at 20:36 ACDST, (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). Venus and Mercury are low above the horizon deep in the twilight. You will need a low, unobstructed horizon like the ocean to see them (and possibly binoculars as well).




   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset).

 

Evening sky on Saturday, November 19 as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACDST, (click to embiggen). Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii.


 

Mars is rising around 21:00 am non-daylight saving time (22:00 daylight saving time) but is best seen in the morning. The inset is the telescopic view at this time.


   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time. 

 

Evening sky on Saturday, November 19 as seen from Adelaide at 21:42 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii with Jupiter to the north.



 

The insets are the telescopic views of Saturn and Jupiter at the same magnification at this time.

 Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). 


 
Whole sky on Saturday, November 19 as seen from Adelaide at 21:42 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). The Milky Way is low above the western horizon. Saturn and Jupiter are both visible.

Scorpius is sinking in the western horizon with the teapot of Sagittarius above. The low altitude makes the clusters of Sagittarius hard to make out.

The Scorpions foe, Orion the Hunter, is rising in the east.

Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are another wealth of binocular objects to discover.

 

  

 Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 

Mercury climbs out of  the twilight.

Venus climbs out of  the twilight.

Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii, the tips of the horns of the Bull, but is now moving up the horns back towards red Aldebaran.

Jupiter climbs higher in the late evening sky was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 27th of September. Jupiter is visible all night.

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii. Saturn was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 15th of August.

 
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the current time.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

Labels:


Monday, November 07, 2022

 

Thursday November 10 to Thursday November 17

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday, November 16.  Jupiter is easy to see as brightest object in the evening sky aside from the Moon. Mars is now rising just before midnight, but is still best to see in the morning. Mars forms a triangle with the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii, the tips of the horns of the Bull. On the 11th Mars, the waning Moon and Elnath form a triangle.

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday, November 16.

Evening sky on Friday, November 11 as seen from Adelaide at 23:30 ACDST, (click to embiggen). Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii and the waning moon joins them. This attractive conjunction will be visible into the morning on the 12th as well,


Mars is rising around 21:30 am non-daylight saving time (22:30 daylight saving time) but is best seen in the morning. The insets are the binocular and telescopic views respectively.


   

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time. 

 

Evening sky on Saturday, November 12 as seen from Adelaide at 21:33 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii with Jupiter to the north.



The insets are the telescopic views of Saturn and Jupiter at the same magnification at this time.

 Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). 


 
Whole sky on Saturday, November 12 as seen from Adelaide at 21:33 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). The Milky Way stretches across the western hoizon. Saturn and Jupiter are both visible.

Scorpius is sinking in the western horizon with the teapot of Sagittarius above. The low altitude and brightening Moon make the clusters of Sagittarius hard to make out.

Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are another wealth of binocular objects to discover.

 

  

 Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Venus is lost in the twilight.

Mars forms a triangle the bright stars Elnath and Zeta Taurii, the tips of the horns of the Bull. On the 11th Mars, the waning Moon and Elnath form a triangle.

Jupiter climbs higher in the late evening sky was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 27th of September. Jupiter is visible all night.

Saturn forms a line with iota, delta and gamma Capricornii. Saturn was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 15th of August.

 
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the current time.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

Labels:


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?