The Geminids 2014

Over the weekend was the peak of the annual Geminid Meteor Shower.  This year, it was actually clear skies over our house meaning the sky was perfectly clear. In fact, it was the best clear sky that we have had for a very long time! There was no moon and the stars and constellations were twinkling beautifully in the night sky.  Of course, being this time of year, it meant the clear sky made the temperature absolutely freezing! In fact, it was minus 1.2 by 22:30 so we were quite chilly stood outside!

My wife and I went out to look on two occasions in the evening. The first viewing lasted for about 45 minutes, starting at about 19:45 on Saturday. I was out on my own at first but didn’t see any meteors until my wife made an appearance, which was about 20 minutes in to the viewing. I did have a great time using my camera to try and take photos of the constellation Cassiopeia and the Pleiades but unfortunately my lens wasn’t big enough, so all I took was darkness. It took me a few minutes to get my bearings on where the meteors would originate from, but found that it was directly behind our house.  This meant we could stand on the back step and be looking in the correct direction. The only problem with this was that there is a big house directly behind ours, which blocks out the sky. This meant that we had to look directly up, which gave me neck ache the next day!

Anyway, the first viewing picked up and we eventually saw about 8 meteors. Some were very small flashes in the Sky, whilst others zoomed along and left a nice long tail behind.  It was great, but we eventually got so cold that we had to go in and have a hot chocolate to drink!

We went back outside at about 10pm for about 30 minutes, by which time the rate of meteors passing by must have picked up as we were treated to some really good ones that shot across the sky and had some amazing tails. The origin of the meteors had passed to the side of the house behind us as well, so we had a clearer view of Gemini by then. I have to say that the constellation Orion looked excellent and very bright as well, which was to the south east of Gemini. At one point we must have seen about 3 big meteors in the space of about 15 seconds, and they were all over the sky.  It was great! But, as mentioned above, the temperature had reached sub zero levels by now, and we were just too cold, so we called it a night. In this time we saw about 10 really good meteors, which was very pleasing.

The Geminid Meteor Shower of 2014 was probably the best one that we have seen from our house in Plymouth. The moon was down, the sky was dark and the starts shone so brightly. It was an amazing sight, and to see lots of meteors as well topped it of brilliantly! Here’s hoping for more nights like this when future meteor showers are due! 😉

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