The list: Good pair of hunting boots, wool socks, jeans, covered by heavy sweat pants, long sleeve shirt, covered with a sweat shirt, heavy coat, gloves, stocking cap and face cover, pillow for the cold chair and three blankets. But, it did keep me warm and in a good enough mood to enjoy the peak of the Geminid meteor shower despite the temperature floating around the upper teens and low 20′s.
From the house in Okarche, I observed 121 meteors during a 1 1/2 hour stretch from 2:15 A.M. until 3:45 A.M. on the morning of the 14th. Despite some high clouds every now and then, the show was a good one which included several fire balls.
One thing that stood out with this shower as most I observe is that the meteors seems to come in small swarms. I always try to keep count and may be stuck on a number for several minutes, and then fire off 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 (or whatever the count) in a matter of 30 seconds. If you were just testing the waters last night and stepped outside at the wrong time, you might think that this years Geminids were a dud.
While I mostly missed out on the Leonids in November, I was happy with my Perseids and Geminids results making the 2010 meteor season a good one. The Quadrantids which will peak on January 3-4, 2011 may be a decent show with about 40 meteors per hour and little in the way of moonlight. Other than that, we pretty much have to put the meteor shower viewing away until next summer.
Here was number 53 last night: