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26 December 2012

Morocco: Geminids revisited in the Sahara desert


Geminids meteor shower 2012
December 2012, The Sahara desert, Morocco

Our Astronomy club Toutatis visited Morocco for the Geminid meteor shower of 2012. Our trip continued through the Sahara desert in Morocco.
The Geminids in the Sahara desert where stunning. I counted as much as 2 meteors per seconds at the peak on December 13, 2012. This means the average peak would have been more then 7000 meteors a hour. It was incredible! After discussing the rate of meteors with my partner, we agreed that it was more 4 meteor per minute making the average peak to 240 a hour. There where big green "flash" meteors, rapid slime ones, slow long bright ones, short split second lines and explosive-core-breaking shooting stars all in one, a real light show.
The group of people watching the meteor shower with us where having a blast and where cheering every moment. Many times, the meteors where falling in our backs and the people in front of us where shouting "look behind you!" but it was too late.
The blackness of the Sahara desert night sky was the best place to enjoy the meteor shower.  Never seen as much meteors as in the Sahara desert.
I manage to catch one on the image on the left. I was surprise that i didn't catch more of them on camera, the camera was pointed to the north star (Polaris) for a circular startrail over the cupola of the hotel. I took over 400 pictures and only one meteor manage to be caught. An incredible experience at a mild temperature considering we come from Finland.

Read More on club's astronomy trip to Morocco HERE