Highland Road Park Observatory

GEMINID METEOR SHOWER

Thursday 13 December from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am

Free and for all ages.

ABOUT THE GEMINIDS

The Geminid meteors, in addition to being part of one of the most reliable showers of the year, are quite intriguing. The first Geminids were noticed in the 1860s. Astronomers searched for the comet which left behind the debris field responsible for the Geminids. In the 1980s (after over a century of searching) scientists pinpointed an asteroid now known as Phaethon as the originator of the debris. Any meteors that are part of this shower seem to radiate from a point in the sky near the star Castor, in the constellation Gemini♊.

THE GEMINID PEAK VIEWING EVENT

For this one night HRPO will be open for four hours, during which time members of the public are welcome. Due to the light pollution problem here in East Baton Rouge Parish, it is feasible to attempt viewing of this major shower only during its peak time, which according to the American Meteor Society will be the evening of the 13th through to the morning of the 14th. Earth♁’s Moon will be in its waxing crescent phase and will have set by 11:00 pm. Patrons must follow the rules and regulations below if they expect to stay on park property.

    RULES AND REGULATIONS
  • No white lights are allowed. White light destroys night vision. Please keep headlights off. Please outfit your white flashlights with red construction paper, a red stretch balloon, red cellophane (several layers may be needed to make the light suitably dim) or a thin coat of red nail polish. Please do not use a camera flash upstairs in the dome or outside at the viewing pads without permission from the telescope operators.
  • Blankets and lawn chairs are only allowed in the designated viewing area on the southwest side of the main building. You and your group may not use an isolated or secluded area away from everyone else. Please check in at the front desk beforehand. Please do not lie or sit on any concrete (viewing pad or sidewalk). If the ground is moist, bring a tarp or any fabric that can get dirty.
  • If a telescope is not in operation, please do not handle it in any way. If a telescope is in operation, please wait until it’s your turn and place your eye to the eyepiece without touching the telescope.
  • No glass containers are allowed.
  • Pets and animals must remain under control and on a leash at all times.
  • Please do not curse or use profane language.
  • Litter and refuse are to be placed in proper receptacles.
  • Running is not allowed outside at night, or inside at any time.
  • Loud music is not allowed. Use headphones or earbuds; nearby people should not be able to hear it.
  • Food and drink are allowed outside, and inside on the main floor, but not in either telescope dome or on either telescope pad.
  • Alcohol and smoking are not allowed.
  • As with all nights, there is no remaining on HRPO property after the public program is concluded.

LIGHT POLLUTION

Unlike during viewing of the Moon and (in most situations) the planets, light pollution severely hinders the ability to see most meteors that streak through the sky. HRPO’s three owners are working continually (via education, presentations and policies) to reduce the amount of money-wasting light pollution within seventy-five kilometers of the HRPO viewing grounds.

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Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 01:35 PM.