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|Subject : Catching "Falling Stars"
Any clear night of the year you can see a handful of meteors, or "shooting stars" as many people call them, zipping across some part of the sky. On some nights, however, the number of meteors shoots up. These events are known as the annual meteor showers. One such night comes on December 13/14 every year when the activity can climb to around one hundred meteors per hour. From the city, only the brightest of these can be seen, but from dark, unpolluted skies, the spectacle can be a delightful treat.
I have observed a number of meteor showers from Karachi, but never had the chance to see one under dark skies - until last year. HB found a dark sky site just 60km from Karachi in the Lakhan range, and suggested that we explore it. The night of 12/13 December 2010 was a Sunday. The Moon's phase was also ideal, so KaAS decided to use the opportunity and compile and submit data to the International Meteor Organization (IMO). Lakhan, however, turned out to be inaccessible, so we instead went to Lake Kalri for a fun-filled night "catching the stars".
It was cloudless throughout and not very cold for a December night. While HB, Fahad and Yaqub bhai took some splendid shots, Khalid Marwat, Abu Bakr and I logged our meteor observations. By the time the first signs of dawn appeared, I had Alhamdulillah recorded 102 Geminid meteors and more than 30 sporadic meteors. The other guys had observed and recorded their own meteors in assigned patches of the sky.
Pictures coming soon. If you are interested, you can see Geminid 2010 data submitted from Pakistan on IMO's website here. My data is third from top.
Karachi Astronomers' Society (KaAS)