Away from city lights from 4th December, 2014 to 17th December, 2014 people can witness annual celestial spectacle of Geminids Meteor Showers (Ulka Patham in Telugu/उल्का स्नान) from pollution free dark clear skies.
This Annual Meteor Shower is being observed by people across the world from 4th Dec. And one can see it up till 17 Dec 2014,
Which part of Sky to look - No Telescopes required: 3 hours after Sunset from 9pm onwards one has to see towards Eastern Sky. Importantly locate two bright stars of Gemini Constellation to witness bright streaks of light zipping across. Telescopes are not required to see Meteor Showers.
Invitation to Schools/Organizations/Public: Further interested Schools/organizations/Individuals can visit (for sky map assistance) and Join “Mission to Mars & Beyond” campaign at www.ournewplanets.info for organizing sky observation of various planets & events with telescopes.
Explanation Notes :
Geminids Meteor Shower: A meteor is a shooting star (layman’s Language), space dust/debris about the size of a grain of sand or more. The dust hits the earth’s atmosphere and burns up into a blaze of light. When greater number of meteors are visible on regular scale (mostly annually) in one part of sky due to a parent body then it’s referred as Meteor Shower.
Where does space dust come from? Comets and asteroids pass through our solar system. During such pass comets/asteroids leave their debris i.e. clouds of Dust particles behind them. When earth crosses through these dust clouds specks of particles hit Earth's atmosphere at greater velocity and disintegrate into a bright flash of lights — meteors!
Specialty of Geminids Meteor Shower: The Geminids are one of the most popular annual meteor showers occurring visible from India apart from more than dozen such meteor showers. While most meteor showers come from comets, Geminids has a its origin from an Asteroid—a near-Earth object named 3200 Phaethon. Asteroids don't normally spew dust/particles like comets into space. However it is believed 3200 Phaethon its once extinct comet. Presently most of the experts call it “Rock Comet”.
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