Astronomy is one of the few areas where amateurs can make a real contribution to science. You might think that you need to be an 'expert' to contribute data which will have real scientific value. This could not be further from the truth.
Make sure you sign up to the Friends of Astronomy Ireland email list to get all the latest reports about the Geminids and other astronomical events. As Earth moves through clouds of dust leftover from comets, the particles fall into our atmosphere and burn up, creating spectacular streaks of light in the sky, known as meteors or shooting stars. This shower is named after the constellation Gemini, from which the meteors appear to come from in the sky. If you trace back the path of a Geminid, you will find that it appears to come from a point in the south east.
To take part in the Nationwide Geminid Watch, simply go outside and look up! We want you to count meteors every night that you can for one week before the peak and one week after - from December 4th to 17th. Count how many meteors you see every 15 minutes (if possible, start on the hour or quarter past the hour), and note it down. Then email us your report with your name, location, and the night you observed. For example, a normal report would be as follows:
Name: Joe Bloggs
Location: Kinsale, Co. Cork
Night: Monday night and Tuesday morning
11:30 - 11:45: 12 meteors
11:45 - 00:00: 8 meteors
00:00 - 00:15: 17 meteors
Email your meteor report to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, the best night to watch is Sunday night, December 14th, but you can observe on any night around this date. You also do not need a telescope or any special equipment to view the Geminids. Even if you don't see any meteors, make sure you sign up to the Friends of Astronomy Ireland email list to keep up to date with all our news and events.
The Geminids will appear to originate from a point in the south east
Click HERE to see a list of other exciting Astronomy Ireland Events coming soon.