Wondrous skies – redux

Probably my only post today.. [Have you read Horseman’s comment(7)? – Ed] Nope. Just a quick reminder that it’s time for the peak of the annual, and dependable, Geminids meteor shower – from around 10pm tonight. Although this year’s show is likely to be diminished by the bigger brighter than usual Moon. Plenty of background – first observed in 1862 – and links at last year’s reminder. The indistinct object pictured, known as 3200 Phaethon, is believed to be responsible. 3200 Phaethon is a Near Earth Object and is also catalogued as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA).. and at 5km wide would do more than just light up the sky if it hit.. Adds I really should have mentioned Tunguska..

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  • The Raven

    Any point in heading out to the sticks to try some star trails tonight, Pete? Or is the moon just too bright?

  • Pete Baker


    According to SpaceWeather.com

    Bright moonlight will reduce the number of visible meteors from the usual 100/hr to only 20/hr or so. That’s still a nice show.

    Fortunately I’m already out in the sticks, so I’ll probably just pop outside later to see what I can see..

  • Rory Carr

    Pete, “Don’t let’s ask for the moon – we have the stars.”


    God, Bette Davis!

    All this astrology stuff is just so gay. Anyway, what the hell? Just so long as we get to smoke. That’s what I say.

  • Pete Baker

    “All this astrology stuff is just so gay.”

    I’m not biting, Rory ;op

  • The Raven

    And neither ye should!

    Clouds have killed it up here on the north coast. Alas.

  • Rory Carr


    (Whoops! I first typed “Chechen”. I wonder where that came from.)

    Any way, off to play Santa at the local Methodist Hall. It appears they couldn’t find one jolly soul from among their dreary TT congregation, so it’s ecumenical, atheistic, Roman, Paddy to the rescue. But they’re nice, really and I used to get on well with old Donald Soper, despite his sins.

  • Mark McGregor


    Does being near open water affect the amount you can see? Wondering if reflected moonlight makes an extra impact.

  • Pete Baker

    Don’t know for certain off-hand, Mark.

    But I’d doubt that the effect would be significant in comparison to the Moon itself.

  • Mark McGregor

    Cheers. Didn’t want to keep the young uns up late if we were at 10p/hr or less.

    Already disappointed them in the summer with the shuttle/ISS chase that couldn’t be seen due to excess light.

    Though it is misting over here so it might be off the cards regardless.

  • Pete Baker

    Never any guarantees with meteor showers, Mark..

  • The Raven

    Despite the (seemingly high level) clouds, I was sure I caught a couple of flashes “above” them. It’s thinning out a tad. Might be enough to let some larger bursts show?

  • Pete Baker

    Very clear skies here.. but that damn Moon is just right there in the visual area of interest.

    And it’s just lighting out anything beyond the brightest of meteorites.

  • The Raven

    Where the hell were you?? It’s pissing down something shackin’ here!!!

  • The morning man

    Is it true that the tides are influenced by the gravitational swing of the moon or is it just like saying that time is changed by the clock?

  • The Third Policeman

    I was walking up the lane at home there on Saturday night after work (now I’m well into the sticks, we’re talking Culchie and Gabanna), a beautiful, clear, frosty night with that bright moon you’re all giving out about. The first I knew about any meteor shower was this streak in the sky, followed by about 2 or 3 more. Well, I must have stood gazing for about half an hour, freezing cold but utterly amazed by the beauty of nature. I think I seen six or so in total, and that’s even with the tiny patch of sky I was watching which wasn’t plastered in cloud.

    Incredible. Headed straight to Slugger today cos I knew Pete would be on about it!

  • Pete Baker

    Space Weather has photos, including this one from Northern Ireland.

    And they reckon there could be an equal good show tonight.

    Clear skies provided, of course.

  • Pete Baker
  • Seimi

    Is the show over or can we expect more? I saw a couple the other night, even with some cloud cover.