Geminid’s Rain

Geminid Meteor Shower - December 14, 2013
Geminid Meteor Shower – December 14, 2013

Object Name (Geminids)
Object Type (Meteor shower )
Location (Provence France)
Date (14 dec 2013)
Media (graphite pencil, watercolor, white paper, digital inversion )

From 4UT just after the moonset, I was observing one hour looking around the Leo area.
I begin to sketch the sky region where I was looking, +/- 45° from the radiant. We can see the Leo and the red Mars underneath.
Each time a meteor was burning out I put the trace on my white paper link with the estimated magnitude. Let says one minute after, because already years ago, I realized that sometime a meteor is following shortly by another one, just on the same track, like a double meteor. This morning I saw 42 Geminids and 2 sporadic’s, I don’t sketch the sporadic meteor here. The speed was quite low and the magnitudes quite brilliant.
The small village where I’m don’t care about light pollution, ok then, I use this to sketch the Christmas street decoration like it is.
Here follows my result of the watch,
December 14, 2013 (Val d’Issole, France)
Longitude 006 degrees 05′ 25″ East,
Latitude 43 degrees 18′ 15″ North.
UT Period Field Teff LM GEM SPO
4:00-5:05 60SSE 1.00 5.20 42 2

Total Meteors: 44
Magnitude Distributions:
Shower  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1   0   1   2   3   4   5

GEM      0   0   2   4   5   5   6  10   8   2   0
SPO      0   0   0   1   0   1   0   0   0   0   0

Based on this, my ZHR observation reaches 250!

It was a nice watch, a wonderful spectacle indeed.

Clear sky to you all

Michel Deconinck

Star Party under the Perseids

Perseid Star Party - August 11, 2013
Perseid Star Party – August 11, 2013

Object Name (Just a Perseid)
Object Type (Falling star and star party)
Location (Sainte Anastasie sur Issole – Provence)
Date (august 11th 2013)
Media (watercolour on 300gr paper – dim : 25cm/65cm)

The national star night, august 10th 2013 with AFA (Astronomical French Association)
At night, a lot of curious, tourist or passionate are join us under thousands of stars, fixed or falling.
A storyteller playing Celtic harp tells children “how they tried to assassinate Jupiter.” Another storyteller playing bagpipe tells the strange story of the constellations, the gods who watch us from the sky. A dozen of telescopes were in place, including a real antiquity made before the first edition of the Messier catalogue… Workshop were organised around magnitudes and star colours. Children dancing as orbited around our big model of Jupiter and its four main moons…
All this achieved thanks to the Sainte Anastasie’s municipality, turned off the lights around our observation field.
For all of us, this night was,… an astronomical success!

Michel Deconinck

Spectacular Perseids

2012 Perseids
2012 Perseids

Object Name: Perseids
Object Type: Annular meteor shower
Location: Lochem, The Netherlands
Date: August 12, 2012
Media: Black and white pastel (pencil) on navy blue paper

The peak of the Perseid meteor shower occurs at noon from my longitude, so the best period to observe the meteors would this morning before dawn. I took a comfortable chair and my sketching materials to my favorite observing site to sketch as much meteors as possible. At the eve of my obseving session I already prepared the layout for the sketch: a starry sky (with the brightest stars as visible around the observing time) and a bit of a horizon. At the site I drew the meteors and the fainter stars at the right position.

Despite it was still hours before the real maximum, it was a spectacle! A lot of bright meteors, some with smoke trails. Sadly I missed some of the brightest because I was busy sketching a fainter one…

Clear skies!

Roel Weijenberg

2012 Perseids

2012 Perseids
2012 Perseids

Object Name (Perseids)
Object Type (Shower)
Location (Néoules Provence France)
Date (6 – 12 august 2012)
Media (graphite pencil, white paper, inverted with

Here join a sketch I made during the Perseid activity, from august 6th ‘till the morning of august 12th. In fact it’s a sketch compilation of all traces I observed.

From the meteors collected (6.5h observation time), I made a small animation video :

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Site Web:

Phaeton’s Falling Particles

Object : Meteor Shower from 3200 Phaeton(Geminids)
Date : December 13/14 2010
Time : 03:15-04:15 LST / 10:15-11:15 UT
Location : Wickenburg, Arizona USA
Medium : Charcoal pencils, white paper, paintbrush used as stump, Windows Paint for inversion, polishing and removing unwanted artifacts
Detector : Visual observation
Magnitude : Varying from 5 to -2
Weather : Moonless sky, Wispy cirrus clouds that soon dissipated, calm winds,somewhat chilly in the mid 40’s

Comments :

The Geminids for this season didn’t dissapoint ! As you can see, in my opinion, it surpassed the Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) from that of this past August’s Perseids. In this one hour time frame sketch, I jotted down over 80 blazing streaks of the falling particles. Obviously, this didn’t include those that fell behind me or the ones that went unnoticed. It easily matched the confirmed rate of 120 (ZHR) or even more !!

In the sketch, I tried to cover a vast area of sky to show not only the radiant and its host constellation but also where the ‘shooting stars’ will be falling. In most cases they appear to fall a good distance away from the radiant. I chose the area with Canis Major,Orion,Taurus, Auriga, M44, M45 and high above is of course Gemini. While most of the meteors burned brightly white/yellow-or so they appeared, there was one that I caught high over my head with a yellow/green color! This meteor had a ‘double streak’ !!
I could distinctly see two greenish trails with a gap in between as it vaporized across the sky. A rather peculiar sight to witness, perhaps some of you out there have seen them too.

Well, it sure was worthed watching this shower all the way into the dawn hours and leaving me a happy camper. 😉

Wishing you dark and clear skies,


Fire from the Twins

Object Name Geminids
Object Type Meteor shower
Location My own backyard, Deventer, The Netherlands
Date Dec. 14th, 01.15UT – 03.00UT
Media Black and white pastels on navy blue paper

Last night the rich meteor shower of the Geminids peaked (actually it was around 14.00UT this afternoon, but the most favorable time to watch it from Europe was during the dark early hours of 14 december). Once again I decided to make a pastel sketch, just like I did during the Perseid shower last August. I used the same method: I made a very global sketch of the starfield I was going to view, including the obstruction caused by the roof and a tree on a dark blue piece of paper. In the field during the observation period I drew every meteor in place with a white pastel pencil.

But the shower was so rich I hardly got time to plot every meteor in the drawing. At given times there were 4 meteors per 10 seconds! I did not count them, but I must have seen over 150 meteors (incl. the ones outside the drawing’s field of view) in the 2 hours of observing time. Incredible! Around 40 of them appeared in the area of the drawing. I observed from my own backyard from 01.15 UT until 03.15 UT. Skies were clear during this whole period, but light pollution got a nasty boost from the snow that fell earlier that evening. NELM was around 5.

Kind regards,
Roel Weijenberg