Dec 30/1 to 5/6 Meteors

The Geminids have officially begun and each night is now seeing 2-3 of these enigmatic meteors. By far the best shower of December and possibly even of the entire year, the Geminids will gradually grow in strength until their peak on the night of December 13/14. At that time observers under dark skies may see up to 120 per hour. Those of use under more light polluted skies will see significantly less though most of will see rates of 10-40 per hour.

In addition to the Geminids, a number of minor showers continue to produce at low rates. Of these, the November Orionids and Sigma Hydrids are the most consistent producers with 2-4 video meteors per night.

The last few nights have also seen a few bright photogenic meteors. Below are three of the better ones.

A nice double flaring November Orionid seen on Dec 4.

Bright Sporadic seen on Dec 5 @ 7:48 UT.

A long-lasting slightly 'fuzzy' Puppid-Vellid seen on Dec 5 @ 9:44 UT. This one left a train visible for ~30 minutes on the MMT SkyCam. SALSA3 only caught the very end of its flight.

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Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT GEM NOO HYD PHO PSU KDR PUP DAD DLM
SAL3 2010-12-06   08h 27m   22  8   4   3   0   1   0   0   2   0   1   3
ALLS 2010-12-06   11h 06m   11  4   0   0   0   2   0   2   1   1   0   1
SAL3 2010-12-05   11h 45m   30  15  3   2   2   3   0   1   1   1   1   1
ALLS 2010-12-05   11h 57m   19  8   0   0   2   4   0   2   0   1   2   0
SAL3 2010-12-04   12h 06m   21  6   3   3   4   0   0   0   1   2   2   -
ALLS 2010-12-04   12h 35m   8   4   0   0   1   1   0   0   1   0   1   -
SAL3 2010-12-03   09h 11m   26  16  1   -   3   4   0   0   2   0   -   -
ALLS 2010-12-03   00h 00m                 Calibration Night
SAL3 2010-12-02   08h 43m   31  20  1   -   3   4   0   2   1   0   -   -
ALLS 2010-12-02   08h 43m   16  12  0   -   0   1   0   1   1   0   -   -
SAL3 2010-12-01   12h 04m   29  16  4   -   2   4   0   1   1   -   -   -
ALLS 2010-12-01   12h 32m   13  7   3   -   1   2   0   0   0   -   -   -

SAL3 - SALSA3 camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
ALLS - Near all-sky camera in Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
VIST - Visual observations from Tucson (Carl Hergenrother)
SDG - Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
Time - Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors
TOT - Total number of meteors detected
SPO - Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT - Antihelions   
GEM - Geminids
NOO - November Orionids
HYD - Sigma Hydrids
PHO - Phoenicids
PSU - Psi Ursa Majorids
KDR - Kappa Draconids
PUP - Puppids-Vellids
DAD - December Alpha Draconids
DLM - December Leonis Minorids

About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

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