Amazing Geminid meteors at Epcot, Sunday, Dec 14

Discussion in 'Misc. Posting Board' started by zackiedawg, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    Funny thing - I wasn't even aware that this was a meteor weekend, as I didn't pay attention to the news before I left...apparently, Saturday evening into Sunday morning was supposed to be peak viewing of Geminid meteors, though reports seem mixed as to how successful the viewing was. I've done some viewing of meteor showers from home myself in the past, and get a few tiny, faint, and superfast streaks that arc through a few inches of sky and are visible for maybe 1/8 second. Saturday night I was at MK until late, and can't say I noticed any meteors. But again, I wasn't even aware there were supposed to be any.

    So Sunday evening rolls along - most of the meteor notices say there might be a few on Sunday, but Saturday was the peak viewing. Again, I don't even know about this at all - so I'm just over at Epcot Sunday night, shooting some long-exposure night shots before my 8:40pm dinner reservation at Via Napoli. As I'm shooting westward, a rather bright, slow white object catches my's not in my lens' view, but behind me - I first think maybe a plane, but no - it's moving too fast for a plane, yet too slow for what I typically expect from meteor showers...not to mention far too bright. As it goes by me, moving roughly NNE to SSW, it's completely silent, and I watch it suddenly just fade away and disappear. Standing at the Japan pavilion in front of the pagoda, it went from the horizon around American Adventure, all the way over the bay, and disappeared over Canada - we're talking about a bright, visible meteor moving through 160 degrees of the sky, visible for a good 3-4 seconds. I've never seen a meteor quite as obvious, low, slow, and bright as this. To me, it's still an anomaly - a one-time rarity. But a half-hour later, there goes another - same direction, same brightness, same arc, and same duration. I ended up seeing 5 before heading to dinner - all the same in intensity and duration. Coming out of dinner, just before Illuminations, I go set up at Japan pavilion for the show, and while I'm getting my camera on the tripod, there goes another! This time, the entire crowd awaiting Illuminations starts buzzing, oohing and aahing, and people are pointing at the sky...some don't know what they saw, some thought the show was could hear the crowd for 3 pavilions in either direction. These things were as good as a firework Disney was putting up - the length of travel and duration of these things, and brightness, were amazing. After Illuminations, as I dismantled my tripod, there go 2 more - both getting the crowd's attention and many more gasps. I'm passing clumps of people staring over the lagoon waiting for more - some still unsure if they saw what they think they did, and trying to convince skeptical family members that they just missed a huge shooting star. All told, 9 of them went through that evening, and I only discovered on getting home and looking it up on the internet that the Geminids had been occurring this past weekend. And with all the comments on how mediocre Saturday's peak was, and feeble photos of tiny, faint, 1/8 second lines posted, I wonder how many people even thought Sunday's display would be so much better! Despite the amazing display, not once did I have my camera set up, ready, and exposing, and pointing in the right direction, for any of these meteors. But it was a wonderful show - nature upstaging Illuminations a bit that night!
    rickenmartin78 likes this.
  2. Sounds like a really neat thing to see. thanks for taking the time to share this with us.


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