The Geminid meteor shower that was active since December 4 will be most active the night of December 13, Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) has said.
Society’s president Suresh Bhattarai said as many as 150 shooting stars per hour can be seen at the time it is most active. Geminids are the result of a large asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.
Only discovered in 1983 and named after the son of Helios (the Greek god of the Sun), 3200 Phaethon is a near-Earth asteroid that orbits the sun every 1.4 years.
It is said Geminids are the dust particles and matter left by 3200 Phaethon when it is near to Earth an appear as shooting stars when they burn some 70 kilometres above the atmosphere. The Geminids appear to originate from the constellation Gemini and hence have been named Geminid meteor shower.
The Geminids tend to be often bright and intensely coloured (mostly yellow, but sometimes red or blue), though slow-moving. They travel at a relatively leisurely 35 km per second, NASO said.
Those interested folks can observe and click this spectacle from their home or an open space near by which is not interfered by light. Bhattarai said the appropriate time to watch the Geminid meteor shower is from 8 pm on December 13, Sunday till 5.30 am the next day. This celestial phenomenon will continue till December 17.
There is no need of binoculars or telescope for observing the meteor shower. A team from NASO is going to Pokhara to watch the meteor shower and capture the scene in their camera. NASO has also called on the people to send the photos they have taken of the meteor shower to it.