A meteoric shower can be seen from tonight until next Sunday, the Director of the Astronomy and Space Science Unit of the Department of Physics of the Colombo University said.
Prof. Jayaratne said this was an annual occurrence known as the Geminids Meteor Shower will be best seen this year from Sri Lanka. Every year this meteoric shower occurs on the same dates between December 4 and17 December reaching the peek on December 13 or 14.
“However, this year because of the absence of moonlight till early morning one could see more meteorites. If the sky is clear and dark with no city light pollution you might be able to see about 120 meteories per hour. That is about one or two meteorites a minute,” he said. "To observe these meteorites, one must look east after 9 p.m. today, overhead at midnight and towards the west before sunrise on December 14. The best time to look is during the dark hours before sunrise on December 14 from about 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. because that is when the shower’s radiant point is highest in the sky and the peak activity occurs."
Prof. Jayaratne said no binoculars or telescopes were needed to see the shower. This meteorite shower is well-known for its multi-coloured display with tracks of light seen in several colours like white, yellow, green, blue, and red.
"These shooting stars appear to be coming from the direction of the star constellation Gemini and therefore came to be known as Geminid. The Geminid meteorite shower has a broad peak, so observers should see meteorites even on the 14th," Prof. Jayaratne said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)