2018 Geminid Meteor Shower

Seen any good fireballs lately?
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Christopher K.
Posts: 4763
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

2018 Geminid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » November 14th, 2018, 12:02 pm

The Geminid meteor shower lasts this year from 4 December to either 16 December or 17 December. HRPO personnel are planning to have the facility open from 9pm to 1am on the peak night of Thursday 13 December. The only government property in EBR Parish people are allowed to use for viewing this event is probably the Highland Road Park Observatory. HRPO is definitely the only BREC property on which people can be for the Geminids. The viewing session has no admission fee and all ages are allowed.

One should lie comfortably on the ground on a blanket or tarp that can get dirty. Alternatively, use a lawn chair or some other reclining chair. Most of the time, one should keep the head angled to a point about halfway to two-thirds from horizon to zenith.

General tips for viewing meteors include...
*Dress warmly. You'd be surprised how much body heat you lose while immobile (especially in the winter).
*Do not consume alcohol of any sort. Even before consumption has given you a "buzz", it has hindered night vision.
*Do not allow your electronic device (flip phone, smart phone, tablet etc.) to glow in your eyes unless you can have it glow red and faint. There will be instructions inside the main building for setting iPhones and Androids to a red-light display.
*Do not take your eyes off the sky! Even the slowest meteors are quite fast. Talk and socialize if desired, but everyone around should understand that searching for meteors is taking precedent.
*Do not break any laws or ignore any basic safety principles to increase the chance of seeing more meteor streaks; it's not worth it.

If you choose to view from your private property, make advanced plans to extinguish any personal outer lights and to request that any neighbors do the same. If you have a civic or homeowners' association, consider making a motion to adopt a policy to switch to and maintain full cut-off (FCO) lighting year-round; this will make your neighborhood perpetually "ready" for viewing meteors in the night sky. (That permanent setup will also help views of comets, star clusters, nebulae and even the Milky Way Galaxy!)

Please do not go anywhere for which you've not been given permission, or anywhere that is unsafe.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4763
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Geminid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » December 13th, 2018, 6:21 pm

HRPO personnel will have the front gate open at 8:40pm. Please do not arrive before that time. As many may have heard, the rain chance, cloud cover and humidity is all forecast by NOAA to be high...
precipitation potential, 31%
sky cover, 94%
relative humidity, 98%
temperature, 16˚C
surface wind, SE 8 km/h


The current plan is for HRPO to close at 11pm or soon after. For those who actually wanted to view the sky, there are two other opportunities this weekend--from 8:30pm to 10pm, or Saturday night from 7:30pm to 11:15pm.

If you are intent on coming, please remember to follow all rules. There will be no sitting or lying on concrete at all, so bring a lawn chair or folding chair or tarp if you don't want to stand the whole time.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4763
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Geminid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » December 14th, 2018, 4:11 pm

It was atrocious at HRPO last night. A moderately thick fog rolled in and stayed in; the facility shut down at 9:30pm. HRPO personnel would like to thank Scott C. for volunteering, and Steven and Roz for support. Jordan and Justin manned the front gate; Amy worked the front desk. A thanks also goes to the thirty-five enthusiastic patrons who visited.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4763
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Geminid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » December 15th, 2018, 6:29 pm

Over the past twenty-four hours NASA's All-Sky Fireball Network detected 101 Geminid fireballs! The network currently consists of seventeen cameras, five west of the Mississippi and twelve east of the Mississippi.

More information:
https://fireballs.ndc.nasa.gov/

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