Sky-gazers can feast on a celestial Diwali in the dark skies, away from city, with fireworks of comet particles entering earth.
Planetary Society India’s general secretary N. Raghunandan Kumar, in a statement, said that people can witness annual celestial spectacle of Leonid Meteor shower from pollution-free dark clear skies from November 6 to November 30.
According to the International Meteor Organisation (IMO), double peak activity would be witnessed from November 17 to November 20 with this meteor shower’s peak expected at 3.00 a.m. on November 17 with maximum of up to 15 meteor per hour.
Eminent astronomer Mikhail Maslov from IMO expects another peak at 11.30 a.m. on November 20 (as earth will encounter dust trails of 1400 AD passage of the parent comet 55P/Tempel Tuttle) with 10 to 15 meteors per hour.
From 2.10 a.m. onwards, observers must look towards the east to find fast moving bright streaks of light zipping across the skies. He said telescope or binoculars were not required to witness this celestial spectacle.
It would seem as if they are emanating from a star called Algieba in Leo constellation (pattern of stars appearing/ known since ages as Lion) where the radiance of this meteor shower lies.
People can use Sky Maps fromwww.ournewplanets.infofor assistance and schools can contact the Society firstname.lastname@example.org organising sky observation (Jupiter/Venus) with astronomical telescopes.