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The Geminids - Input Junkie
December 17th, 2012
12:12 am


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The Geminids
This past Thursday night was supposed to be the height of the storm. I had optimal viewing conditions, or close to them-- clear sky (the stars were beautiful) in the suburbs, new moon, no clouds. Even the weather was nice, and I'd remembered my binoculars.

No meteors.

There was something very bright and a slightly yellow-white high in the sky at around 12:30 PM. I assume it was a planet.

I asked about meteor sightings on Facebook, and a couple of people (thanks for the replies) said they'd seen one or two meteors.

I think I've been spoiled-- some five or six years ago, maybe more, I saw a thirty-year maximum meteor storm. It was meteor after meteor, more than one per minute I think-- and I was on the edge of the city with quite a bit of street light. I'd never seen any meteors at all before that.

I don't think I'm bothering with ordinary meteor storms any more. My goal is to hang around and catch the next 30 year maximum.

This would be only marginally worth posting about except that I may have seen a sociological change-- for both meteor showers, I was telling random strangers. I wish I could apologize to the second batch. In any case, the folks 5 years or more ago were either interested or not interested, but this time I think more than half were worried about whether a meteor shower was dangerous. I reassured them, but are people more nervous in general?

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(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2012 06:15 am (UTC)
Sounds like people are more ignorant than ever, because sheesh, we get the same meteor showers every year, same time of year - it's like asking if snow is dangerous, sheesh! Of course we ARE only four days away from the so-called Mayan Apocalypse, when a giant asteroid named Nibiru is going to emerge from a black hole and cause our Sun to emit an electro-magnetic flare that will destroy all electronic equipment on this planet and turn 98% of the population into bloodthirsty zombies. Either that, or triffids will come; the Mayan texts are not clear on that point.

*sighh* No Geminids for me this year; Friday was the only clear night we've had for a long time. No Leonids either, but the Orionids were pretty good. I have not seen the Quadrantids since 1987, my last January in Ohio; January nights here are usually cloudy. I'll always go look, even if there's only a chance of seeing something; sometimes it turns out better than expected.

Happy Hannukah, by the way, I hope you had a good one! (^^)
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
I don't exactly want to frame it as people becoming more ignorant-- I'm assuming that people generally don't have the time or the interest to check everything carefully.

I'm more curious about what's changed in the information environment to make them worry about meteor showers. It didn't seem like something occult, it seemed like fear of a physical danger.
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