Clouds, fog hide meteor shower view in Delhi | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Clouds, fog hide meteor shower view in Delhi

delhi Updated: Dec 14, 2007 23:24 IST

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A rare celestial event, the Geminid meteor shower, was visible across most of India on Friday night, but sadly the grand annual celestial spectacle could not be seen in Delhi due to a cloudy and foggy sky.

"Not only Delhi, but places like Mumbai and other northern Indian cities will not view this development properly. Sky watchers in the capital will miss out the event mainly due to fog, clouds and light pollution (excessive city lights)," Nehru Planetarium director R Rathnasree told IANS.

"But people in south and east India can view the celestial development better. The celestial movement started at 10.15 pm India time and will reach its peak during daybreak Saturday," she said.

"People in rural Australia and the US can view 100 meteors per hour during peak time."

A meteor shower occurs when the earth passes through debris left behind by a passing comet or asteroid. In the present case, it's an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon.

As the earth moves around the sun, the debris gets pulled by the earth's gravitational force and falls with its long bright tails visible to the naked eye.

Friday night's celestial movement is called Geminid showers, as they will seem to emanate from the constellation Gemini. Geminids are colourful meteors, Rathnasree explained.

She said the meteor showers were taking place for the last couple of days but as per calculations, the 14th night showers are the best as the shower per hour (over 100) is much higher than earlier days, when it was much less.