Representational Image

(BT1976, Getty Images/Kendall Hoopes, Pexels/ via Canva)

If you are a Bangalorean, you must know that the word on the street is that the Karnataka capital has little to offer in terms of recreation except for its nightclubs and restaurants. But Bengaluru does surprise you every once in a while.

Just in case you were looking for something fun to do this week, we have some great news for you. This week, the Geminid meteor showers will light up Bengaluru’s skies with their brilliance. And if you’re willing to make a little trip to the outskirts of the city, you can watch the Geminids streaking the night sky in all their glory!

The Geminid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through a dusty gravel trail and debris left behind by the famous ‘rock comet’ named 3200 Phaethon. The tiny meteoroids left over by this comet enter Earth’s upper atmosphere, producing bright streaks of light in the dark sky. These ‘shooting stars’ appear to originate from the constellation Gemini, which gives the Geminid shower its name.

Every year, they light up the night skies of the Northern Hemisphere, and this year is no exception.

We suggest you make no alternative plans with them peaking between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. You might even have to call in sick because once the show begins, there is no way you’d get any sleep that night or get back home in time for work.

Now, let’s take a look at what your night would look like should you decide to go and enjoy the Geminids.

Between 100-150 meteors will pass by in an hour, but Bengaluru will not be able to see all of them owing to light pollution with the city limits and the gibbous Moon playing the villain as could obscure the shooting stars.

Still, an optimum viewing experience with around 30-40 meteors flying by each hour can be had in the outer fringes of the city.

Around Bengaluru, areas like Hessarghatta, Bannerghatta, Devarayanadurga and Kolar might offer a good view of the meteor showers. And since they’re expected to peak between 2 and 3 AM, we suggest you leave your homes accordingly, so you don’t miss them.

Once you get to the destination of your choice, find a spot with no buildings. Then, spread a blanket, lie back and stare into the sky for at least 30 minutes to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Fortunately, you will not require any equipment. In fact, even telescopes are not recommended because they limit the field of view.

The Geminid meteors are known to produce multicoloured meteors when they hit the Earth’s atmosphere, with white, flash yellow, blue and green being the frequently observed ones. Due to their size and relatively slow speed, plenty of slow-moving fireballs will be on display during the shower.

Furthermore, if you wish to photograph the Geminids, using a DSLR with a wide-angle lens or even a smartphone could work. Aim for long exposure shots at preset intervals.

Meanwhile, if you can’t travel all the way out of Bengaluru, the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium will organise an overnight workshop on December 13, from 10pm to 4.30am, to educate people on the night sky and recreate the Geminids showers.

**

For weather, science, and COVID-19 updates on the go, download The Weather Channel App (on Android and iOS store). It’s free!

Source