Geminids: Best meteor shower of 2012 – Hawaii viewing tips

The Geminids are one of the most reliable and spectacular meteor showers of 2012, and viewing conditions are near perfect for Hawaii. After the somewhat disappointing 2011 Geminids meteor shower, 2012 is a great year to see the Geminids shooting stars from Hawaii (and all over the world). If you plan to watch only one meteor shower in 2012, make it the Geminids.

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The new moon (December 12th on 22:42 Hawaiian time) makes that the night sky is very dark, and the very broad peak (about one day) of the Geminids happens for Hawaii during the daylight hours of December 13th. This makes the hours between midnight and early dawn on the night of December 12-13 the best time to watch the 2012 Geminids from Hawaii. During these nights under perfect viewing conditions you should be able to see 100+ shooting stars / hour. (more information after this image)

geminids lovebigisland

Get together with your friends to watch the Geminids. Stargazing is always more fun with family and friends

You can also see this meteor shower a few nights before and after December 13th, but don’t expect to see as much as during the peak. Best viewing time is between 2 and 3 am. Check out our stargazing guide and meteor shower guide for best viewing results.

Geminids 2012 viewing tips for Hawaii

The best time to see the geminids in 2012 is between 2 and 3 am on the nights of 12-13 and 13-14 December. Under ideal viewing conditions you should be able to see up to 120 shooting stars / hour from Hawaii. You can read about the best viewing practices in our meteor shower guide.

In December, the constellation Gemini rises around 20:00 pm in the east. It is directly overhead around 2 am, and moves towards the western horizon at sunset. The geminids are active between December 4 and 17, and you can see shooting stars during all these nights. However, you will see most shooting stars in the early morning hours of the nights around December 13th.

Plan you Perseid viewing with this lunar table for Hawaii on December 10 to 15 2012
Date Moonrise Moonset Brightness Notes
December 10 04:37 15:39 9.5%
December 11 05:13 16:36 3.4%
December 12 06:19 17:38 0.3% New Moon at 22:42
December 13 07:23 18:48 0.6% Geminids peak at 13:30
December 14 08:23 19:49 4.2%
December 15 09:17 20:53 10.5%

How to find the Geminids from Hawaii?

The radiant of the Geminids lies in the constellation Gemini. During the peak of this 2012 meteor shower on Hawaii, Gemini rises around 8 pm in the East, is directly overhead around 2 am, and stands above the eastern horizon at daybreak.

You can find Gemini easily with the help of these sky maps. Jupiter and Orion are both close to the Geminids. Orion is easily recognized by its ‘belt’, the 3 stars that are aligned. On one side of Orion’s belt you can find Jupiter, one of the brightest points on the sky. On the other side of Orion’s belt you can find Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.

Draw a line through Jupiter, Sirius and Orion’s belt, and look for a reddish star close to Orion. This is Betelgeuze, a red supergiant. You can find the radiant of the geminids, and most shooting stars, on this side of the line.

geminids skymap december hawaii

Map of the Hawaiian sky during the Geminids meteor shower. This skymap shows the sky above Hilo at 10 pm on December 12th, and is valid for all Hawaiian islands. The geminids radiant rises in the North-East and sets in the North-West.

Below we show 3 sky maps of the 2012 mid-December night sky at 9 pm, 2 am and 5 am.

Sky map for Hawaii: December 12th 9pm

This is what the sky above Hawaii will look like at 09:00 pm on December 12th 2012. This map is also relevant for the ±5 nights before and after December 12th.

geminids-skymap-dec-12-2012-21pm

Sky map of the Hawaiian sky in the evening of December 12 2012 to find the geminids meteor shower radiant. The geminids rise over the eastern horizon around 8 pm

Sky map for Hawaii: December 13th 2am

This is what the sky above Hawaii will look like at 02:00 am on December 13th 2012. This map is also relevant for the ±5 nights before and after December 13th.

geminids-skymap-dec-13-2012-2am

Sky map of the Hawaiian sky in the night of December 13 2012 to find the geminids meteor shower radiant. The geminids are straight overhead at 2 am

Sky map for Hawaii: December 13th 5am

This is what the sky above Hawaii will look like at 05:00 am on December 13th 2012. This map is also relevant for the ±5 nights before and after December 13th.

geminids-skymap-dec-13-2012-5am

Sky map of the Hawaiian sky in the early morning of December 13 2012 to find the geminids meteor shower radiant. The Geminids are low in the western sky

These sky maps have been made with stellarium.

3 thoughts on “Geminids: Best meteor shower of 2012 – Hawaii viewing tips

  1. This morning, Dec. 6, around 1am-3am, I saw 3 (myself alone)
    that were of the Geminid variety. Despite high haze and broken clouds,
    they were obvious by the origins near Gemini area, and the length of
    the swift colored (blue, yellow, orange, white) – trails. Tails didn’t linger long tho, – but it was hazy. Then the moon got in the way. Trying again.
    Looks like a good start, with a week till maximum. My 2c

    • Aloha Terry,

      that sounds like a good start indeed. How dark was the area you were viewing from?
      I will also start looking up, and keep my fingers crossed for a shooting stars filled sky on December 12 and 13.

      Mahalo for your update!

  2. Pingback: Hawaii 2012 Online Astronomy Calendar

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