New Delhi: A beautiful meteor shower will adorn the sky on the night of December 13 and the early hours of December 14. Stargazers will be able to witness the stunning view from all parts of the country under favourable conditions for the same. ALSO READ | Solar Eclipse 2020: Last ‘Surya Grahan’ Of The Year To Occur Tomorrow; Here Is All You Need To Know
The Geminid meteor shower is going to have its peaks on the late night of December 13 and is the most intense meteor shower of the year, Director of M P Birla Planetarium and well-known astrophysicist Debiprasad Duari said in a statement on Saturday, as reported by news agency PTI.
He revealed that the meteor shower can be viewed from every part of India provided that there is a favourable condition of there being a clear sky.
“While it is expected around December 13-14 night, one can probably also see some meteors in the early evening hours of December 14,” Duari said.
What is Geminid Meteor Shower and when will it appear?
Geminid Meteor shower is among the most spectacular meteor showers and it occurs every year around the second week of December.
At the peak of the meteor, predicted this time to be in the middle of the night of December 13-14 at around 1-2 am, the Gemini constellation will be overhead in Kolkata. It will provide an opportunity to observe the “celestial fireworks” as described by astrophysicist Debiprasad Duari.
Predictions further state that it may be possible to see 150 meteors per hour this year provided that the sky is dark and clear.
There is no need to be alarmed about the “heavenly phenomenon, since these meteors will cause no harm to anything on Earth,” Duari said.
What are Meteor Showers?
Meteors are often termed as “shooting stars”. However, in reality, when a rocky object as small as a speck of dust enters the earth’s atmosphere with a tremendous speed, a brilliant streak of light is produced as there is the excitation of the air molecules and friction.
Sometimes, a number of meteors originating from a particular direction of the sky can be witnessed. These are called meteor showers and they are mostly caused by the earth’s passage through the leftover debris of dust, left behind by different comets as they come near the Sun.
Comets are mostly made up of ice and dust and when they approach the sun, the ice in them melts leaving behind a trail of dust. When earth, in its yearly journey around the sun, passes through this dusty region, the dust and rocky substances enter the earth’s atmosphere, sometimes with speed between 30 to 60 km per second. They thereby produce a shower of light streaks called a meteor shower.
As they appear to come from one direction, the practice is to identify the constellation from which they look to be radiating and the meteor shower is then named after the constellation.
(With Agency Inputs)