Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Well, that didn't work out as planned

So last night was the peak of the Geminid Meteor shower, and supposedly this year was gonna be a good one for viewing. Now that I have a decent camera, I got the bright idea to go out into the cold (32-35*F) and try photographing it. (In a prefect world, I would get an image like the one in that last link).

The sky at home in Farifax VA was cloudless, which gave me hope, however there is so much light pollution that you can *almost* see the moon at night...if you try really hard. So at 10pm I packed my stuff into the truck and headed west. I knew of a couple of potential spots west of here (in Loudoun county) that might be dark enough (and have a decent view of the sky without buildings and streetlights and trees and buildings and minimalls getting in the way) so I headed that direction.

Unfortunately, as I headed west, the clouds started to thicken. At first they were patchy, but as I got to my secret viewing location (which kinda sucked anyway due to the giant Home Depot nearby) there were a lot of patches. So, I decided to keep heading west and see what I could see. Unfortunately, the thickening continued. I made it all the way out to Leesburg before turning back. At one point on the return trip the clouds cleared a bit, so I decided to take and exit off of the highway and try exploring the back-roads for a bit. This proved fruitless as well. While it was significantly darker out there, a thin layer of clouds moved over the area and pretty much washed out any chance of viewing. So around 11pm I headed back towards home.

Of course, when I got back home in Farifax, the sky was crystal clear.

Ah well. I'm glad it's an annual shower. Maybe next year will work out better.