The 2016 Geminids peak night was unfavourable due to the Full Moon just above Orion.  To make matters more challenging, the sky was hazy and full of cirrus. Normally I would skip this and stay in bed but this is among the year’s best meteor showers.  Even on an “off” year, I usually will make an attempt to go out.

It appeared that the clouds were breaking up on the evening of December 13th, so I drove to the RASC’s FLO site near Almonte.  The sky was reasonably clear when I got there I casually saw a few nice meteors including a mag -2 Geminid and a mag +1 earthgrazing sporadic.  The wind was at 15-20 km but I was nicely shielded by the trees, and the temperature was a very bearable -8C.  The Moon however was intensely bright, and the best I could see in the darkest part of the sky was a limiting magnitude of +4.0.

I watched from midnight to 1:00am and I saw 9 Geminids and one anthelion.  Then sky quickly deteriorated and clouded over completely.  I took a snooze in the comfort of my winter sleeping bag, and woke up an hour later to see if it would clear.  However the sky was fully overcast and it was snowing.  I packed the cameras and headed back home.

December 13/14 2016, 05:05-06:00 UT (00:05-01:00 EST)
Location: Almonte, Ontario, Canada
(Long: -76 deg 15′; Lat: 45 deg 15′)

Observed showers:
Geminids (GEM)  – 07:33 (113) +32
Monocerotids (MON) – 06:52 (103) +08
Anthelion (ANT) –  06:16 (094) +23

05:05-06:00 UT (00:05-01:00 EST); clear; 1/5 trans (thin haze and cirrus clouds throughout the sky); F 1.00; LM 4.00; facing S50 deg; teff 0.92 hr; Temp -8C
GEM: nine: -2; +1(2); +2(2); +3(3); +4
ANT: one: +3
Total meteors: Ten

Clear skies,

Pierre Martin
Ottawa, Ontario