The Geminids (GEM) saw an increase in activity last night (Dec 9/10) and for the first time this year clearly outproduced some of the other active showers such as the Sigma Hydrids (HYD). Rates should continue to slowly increase every night until Sunday/Monday night when rates will skyrocket as we close in on Tuesday morning’s peak.
Down in Hermosillo (Mexico), Salvador Aguirre counted 7 GEMs in 2 hours of observing under a magnitude +6.2 sky. To see more details visit his blog (in Spanish).
The International Meteor Organization has there ZHR Live page for the 2010 Geminids up and running. Based on the observations of Salvador and other observers, the Geminid ZHR for last night was ~13 per hour. Remember the ZHR is a normalized rate to near perfect conditions (no obstructions, radiant overhead and pitch black skies with a limiting magnitude of +6.5). For most of us in light polluted areas the actual rate is much lower. So for most of us the Geminids are currently only producing 2-3 meteors per hour.
The number of bright (0th magnitude or brighter) meteors has been very high the last 3 nights. Usually my fireball camera only catches a dozen or so per night but the last 3 nights have seen 21, 27 and 23 meteors. Very few of these have been Geminids (that will surely change real soon). Three minor showers have been producing a steady rate of bright ones, the Sigma Hydrids (HYD), December Leonis Minorids (DLM) and Monocerotids (MON).
Last night also marked SALSA3’s 76th consecutive night with a meteor detection. Not sure if this is a MetRec/IMO Video Group record but it must be close.
Obs Date(UT) Time TOT SPO ANT GEM HYD PHO PSU PUP DAD DLM MON SAL3 2010-12-10 12h 09m 43 6 1 10 4 - 0 2 0 2 2 ALLS 2010-12-10 10h 31m 23 6 1 5 5 - 0 1 0 2 3 SAL3 2010-12-09 12h 08m 35 23 0 5 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 ALLS 2010-12-09 12h 38m 27 13 0 0 4 0 1 0 2 4 3 SAL3 2010-12-08 11h 25m 32 21 1 0 5 0 0 0 1 2 2 ALLS 2010-12-08 11h 38m 21 8 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 5 3 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 HYD - Sigma Hydrids PHO - Phoenicids PSU - Psi Ursa Majorids PUP - Puppids-Vellids DAD - December Alpha Draconids DLM - December Leonis Minorids MON - Monocerotids