Sunday, December 13, 2009

Geminid Meteor Shower 13/12/09

GEORGE TOWN: Astronomy buffs who want to catch this year’s Geminid meteor shower should look to the skies this Sunday night.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Astronomy and Atmospheric Science Research Unit lecturer Associate Prof Dr Chong Hon Yew said the annual shower would be visible in the night sky to the naked eye in any direction.

This year’s shower should peak at 1pm local time on Monday, and be visible to western hemisphere observers such as in North America and South America.

“However, the Geminid shower has a broad peak of about one-and-a-half days and so, with good weather permitting and a waning moon, many meteors should be visible on Sunday night,” he said.

The Geminid meteor shower occurs every year between Dec 9 and 19, reaching its peak on Dec 13 and 14.

Dr Chong said the source of the Geminid meteors was from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.
“Usually, meteor showers are caused by the debris of comets burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere.”

He also invited the public to join his team’s observations for free at the field next to the unit’s premises within USM, or the Pearl of Orion Observatory next to the Bukit Genting Hill Leisure Park and Restaurant in Balik Pulau, or the Lim Choon Kiat Private Observatory near Pulau Betong on Sunday night.

“We will be observing the shower from 9pm all the way to morning but the public can come and go any time,” Dr Chong said.

~sources from the Star online

*update 11.50pm 13/12/09*

I'm now standing close to the edge of my roof, with head angled toward the Gemini position....and How do i know its gemini?

I've spent an hour looking for info from the internet on how to spot a meteor and where do i suppose to looks, and right now after another hour looking up toward the sky, and i all i can say is "I CANT SEE SHIT IN THE SKY", and worse still my neck and shoulder is stiffened~~~Ow


  1. I don't know much, but I'll share what I know =)

    The meteors "radiate" or "originate" from a point which happens to be in Gemini, but it can appear anywhere in the sky. It's just that if you traced each meteor's "flight path", you'll find that they seem to come from Gemini.

    You live in Penang? Some places have light pollution - stray light from street lamps, urban "glow", etc causing you not to be able to see dimmer objects. Same with cloud cover. If you can't see stars, you probably can't see meteors - they're about the same brightness.

    Try lying down on your back, as if you're sleeping, face looking upwards to the sky. That'll be more comfortable, instead of, say, sitting on a chair and looking upwards, which may annoy your neck. Plus, you'll probably get more "view area" of the sky compared to sitting & looking up.

    I just came back from my house compound. I spotted approximately 10 shooting stars in 30 minutes. Shooting stars appears and disappears fast, you'll have anywhere about 0.5 seconds to 2 seconds before it's gone. (Some time ago I saw one or two lasting up to 5 seconds.) They're fast, so don't let your guard down.

    Hope I've helped =)

  2. Hey..thanks for the info, anyway yesterday was a disappointing night for me as i did not see any showers. I live in ampang and the sky here is so bright that i cant even see any stars, and i literally have to take a 15 minutes drive to somewhere further away from town to actually get a glimpse of STARS...

    I was in my car, reclined, and with the sunroof opened and prepared myself to see these meteor showers for the very first time in my life....patiently waited for hours, but yet no meteor in sight.

    I've made a promise to myself to catch the next one, and this time i'll make sure that i'm looking at the right direction.

    Anyway i have to thank you again for you valueble info.