Observing Session December 11 and Meteors

Last night I went out with a number of  fellow members of the Northern Sydney Astronomical Society to an observing location in Turramurra and watched to see what the clouds north of Sydney were going to do. They were rather ominous and threatening to spoil the observing session but thankfully they stayed away until well after 11pm…… giving some good observing time.

Unfortunately hardware issues did cause problems for some of the members and at one stage I was battling with power cord issues as the cord kept wrapping around the telescope.

But I have to say that personally last night was one of my most successful nights out in the field and I was able to take a number of pictures which I will post here as soon as I have processed them. For instance I took a few pictures of open cluster M45 which is known as Pleiades or The Seven Sisters. It will be interesting how that turns out as I took it with a simple digital camera with no time exposure.

But the purpose of this post is to talk about meteors. On average while in the field I would see one or maybe even two meteors streak across the sky if I was lucky. Most of the time you have to be looking at the right place at the right time to see these.

However last night I broke my personal record and over a space of a few hours I counted 7 meteors. Most of them were heading in a north easterly direction but the last one travelled from east to west which was a bit strange.

The Geminids Meteor shower is on at the moment. It started on the 7th of December and will go through to the 17th and will have it’s peak time in two days on the 14th. I have no doubt that with the number of meteors I saw last night this had something to do with the Geminids. However the last meteor I saw heading west I am not so sure about .

With tonight and tomorrow forecast for clear skies, if you are out observing keep an eye out for these meteors. I saw the majority of them after 10pm and was looking North as shown in the picture below when I saw them.

Interestingly enough, I just looked up info on the Geminids Meteor shower and found out that to see these meteors you need to look east of Sydney. Maybe the last meteor I saw was an actual Geminid and the 6 others were something else.

(Click to Enlarge)

~ by sydneystargazers on December 12, 2009.

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