After an unimpressive Leonids shower I’m disinclined to arise early for another cold stargazing session. However, the Perseids were impressive and an article said that this shower is “usually the most satisfying of all the annual showers, even surpassing the more widely recognized Perseids of August.”
It also addresses the poor performance of the Leonids shower and how this one will be different. To top it off, North American viewers may see even more.
“But unlike last month’s Leonids, where a nearly Full Moon illuminated the sky all night, the Moon will set soon after 2 a.m. local time early on Saturday, Dec. 14. That means that the sky will be dark and moonless for the balance of the morning, making for perfect viewing conditions for the shower.
Peak activity is projected to fortuitously occur at or near 4 a.m. EST (1 a.m. PST) on Dec. 14. Under normal conditions on the night of maximum activity, with ideal dark-sky conditions, at least 60 to 120 Geminid meteors can be expected to burst across the sky every hour on the average. Rates could even briefly climb higher for North American viewers.”
Very tempting indeed. I think I’ll give the early morning sky another chance, even if I have to go solo.