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2019 Geminid Meteor Shower

Posted: September 25th, 2019, 4:14 pm
by Christopher K.
The Geminid meteor shower lasts this year from 1 December to 22 December. HRPO personnel are planning to have the facility open from 9pm to 1am on the peak night of Friday 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.

Re: 2019 Geminid Meteor Shower

Posted: December 1st, 2019, 5:09 pm
by Christopher K.
The Geminids viewing period begins today, technically. Several members of BRAS will be surveying the early night tomorrow in a unofficial manner. I encourage you to keep looking up from your location.

Re: 2019 Geminid Meteor Shower

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 6:13 pm
by Christopher K.
This is the current NOAA forecast for 9pm Friday to 1am Saturday...
precipitation potential, 12%
sky cover, 65%
relative humidity, 99%
temperature, 13˚C
surface wind, W 3 km/h

This is a frustrating POOR forecast. Hopefully it will improve. Vincent Perelin is saying the peak will occur Friday at 6pm; it will be dark at 6:31pm and the waxing gibbous Moon will rise at 6:39pm.

More information: ... r-in-2019/

Re: 2019 Geminid Meteor Shower

Posted: December 13th, 2019, 6:31 pm
by Christopher K.
There will be no viewing at HRPO tonight.

Below is the NOAA forecast for HRPO's planned meteor viewing time of 9pm to 1am...
precipitation potential, 9%
sky cover, 89%
relative humidity, 100%
temperature, 12˚C
surface wind, SW 3 km/h

Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that during HRPO's viewing time the transparency rating will be "too cloudy to forecast" (0 out of 5) and the seeing rating will be "poor" (2 out of 5).

The 13 December 2019 rating is...

NOAA has issued a Dense Fog Advisory for the HRPO area... ... fQtKGRKjIU

The Advisory mentions "visibility one quarter mile or less in dense fog". Due to this Advisory and the Hazardous Weather Outlook for HRPO's area "Dense fog is expected to redevelop tonight", the meteor shower viewing is canceled.

Re: 2019 Geminid Meteor Shower

Posted: December 13th, 2019, 9:26 pm
by Christopher K.
We appreciate the understanding of all our wonderful patrons.

Someone has asked whether there is any other dark place around Baton Rouge, Prairieville or Gonzales to see the shower peak. I know of no other place anyone can go legally. Of course, this area isn't as dark as it used to be. The Light Pollution Committee is resolute in its purpose to eradicate most of the money-wasting, fossil fuel-wasting light pollution in the area.