Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight

The annual occurrence of the Geminid Meteor shower will peak tonight, Colombo University Astronomy and Space Science Unit said.

It said this meteor shower occurs on the same period between December 4 and 17 every year with peaks during December 13-14.

However, due to the absence of moonlight till early in the morning, more meteors could be seen.

If the sky is clear and dark with no city light illumination, people may be able see about 120 meteors per hour (That is about one or two meteors per minute).

"To observe these meteors, look towards east after 9.00 pm on December 13, over the head 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 around 2.00 am to 4.30 am because that’s when the shower’s radiant point is high in the sky and the peak activity occurs," the Science Unit said.

It said no binoculars or telescopes are needed to see these meteors.

This meteor shower is spectacular because of its multi-coloured display with tracks of lights seen in several colors such as white, yellow, green, blue and red. These shooting stars appeared to be coming from the direction of the constellation Gemini and therefore it got the name Geminid. 

The Geminid meteor shower has a broad peak, so observers should be able to see meteors even on 14th and 15th nights with somewhat lesser in numbers, it added. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)

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