Mumbaikars, here's your chance to see one of the most beautiful meteor showers on December 14

Updated: Dec 11, 2017, 11:10 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

The Geminid meteor shower will be peaking in the pre-dawn sky of December 14, giving observers a chance to view more than 100 meteors per hour

This year was host to several heavenly treats, one of which was the rare total solar eclipse. To keep them treats going, there isn't a better way to say goodbye to 2017 than by witnessing one of the most beautiful meteor showers - the Geminids. The Geminids, active from December 4 to December 17, are usually the most awaited meteor shower of the year, owing to the high rate of visible meteors per hour. This year, the shower is expected to peak in Indian skies at dawn on Thursday, December 14, with most of the previous night also witnessing several shooting stars.

The Geminids, active from December 4 to December 17, are usually the most awaited meteor shower of the year. Representation Pic/Thinkstock
The Geminids, active from December 4 to December 17, are usually the most awaited meteor shower of the year. Representation Pic/Thinkstock

Arvind Paranjpye, director of Nehru Planetarium, said this is one of the finest meteor showers of the calendar year, "More than 100 meteors can be visible to the naked eye per hour." "This shower shows a clumping effect: you see burst of a few meteors, and then nothing happens for next few minutes. Then again, there is a sudden burst of four or five meteors within a minute. You can see beautiful fireballs from this shower," said Paranjpye.

"The Geminids gave a rather poor show in 2016 but are expected to be quite active in 2017. One is expected to see a great show in the pre-dawn sky of December 14 i.e. on the night of December 13, as only 11 per cent of the moon will be illuminated." Paranjpye pointed out that to make the most of viewing the Geminids, Mumbaikars should ideally go at least 100 km away from the city. "For observing a meteor shower, it is advised that one should look about 20 and 40 degrees away from the radiant (point in the shower from where meteors appear to originate)."

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