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Geminid Meteor Shower 2016

It’s time for the best meteor shower of the year! December brings the Geminid meteor shower in the night sky, one of the spectacular displays of dance of the meteors showers.

About Geminid

Dating back to more than 200 years Geminid meteor shower is growing stronger every years- a research suggests. Geminid definitely marks the best display meteor shower with a rate of about 120 shower per hour in the dark sky and about 40 shower per hour with the super-moon light that we are about to get this year during the shower. 40 shower per hour (That rhymed) is still a good odds in our favor.

The name Geminid comes from the Constellation Gemini (Also known as the twins) and as the name suggests, it radiates from a certain point in the constellation, the radiant point in this case is- Castor.  The parent body of the shower is a near-earth asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid which is believed to have collided with some objects in the past. Usually, meteor showers take place when the earth passes through the Orbital path of a comet. When the debris from the comet enters the earth’s upper atmosphere, the vaporization of the particles create the spectacular showers in the sky.

When to watch?

The peak of meteor shower is on the night of Dec 13 and Dec 14. Usually the peak of the Geminid meteor shower intensifies after midnight.

How to see the shower?

The best way to see a meteor shower is to go away from the city with excessive light pollution to some rural areas. But if that’s not possible then, you can do it from you roof too! You’re not going to see a meteor shower if you just stare at the night sky, you have to adapt to the darkness in the night sky, i.e. you need to  gaze at the sky for a long time, gradually everything will start to appear dark, that’s when you see every single thing that moves in the sky.

Or you can take your camera and mount it on a tripod and set the following settings and try to catch few in the photos:

I usually use (The photo I have shared was on the following exif as well)

Shutter: 20”

F: 3.5

ISO: 3200

But it’s advised to use a lens with a wide aperture. In that case you might want to use ISO 1600. But it surely depends on the condition as well so just try few shots with different combination along that line

How to find the constellation Gemini?

The head of the Twins- Gemini consists of two bright stars- Castor and Pollux and in a place with an excessive photo-pollution only the head might be visible which forms a wedge that points straight at the Orion. The Orion or hunter is very easy to find!


Photo Source : (


Gemini and Orion – Photo source : (



Stars and Constellations

On a clear night there are so many stars in the sky, more than we can probably count. Some stars look brighter than others. If we are really far from cities more stars we can see. These groups of stars are sometimes called constellation. A simple definition of constellation is a cluster of stars in the sky that grouped together in a particular pattern or shape and have been given a name. A more modern astronomical sense of the term is as recognizable pattern of stars whose appearance is associated with mythological characters or creatures or associated earthbound animals or objects. There are 88 official constellations which are recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) which is most reasonable number to deals in billions. Some constellations are only visible in the northern hemisphere while others are only visible in the southern hemisphere. Constellation that are visible in both hemispheres may appear upside down in southern hemisphere. A few constellations can be viewed all year long but most are seasonal and can only be viewed at certain times of the year. The sun is the only known star in our galaxy which is not part of the constellation.

The most famous group of star that is easy to find is Big Dipper (Sapta Rhishi). Most people think of Big Dipper as a constellation itself, but it is an Asterism (Group of familiar stars within a constellation). It is made up of 7 bright stars. Big dipper is a part of constellation Ursa Major and visible all year in the northern hemisphere. Polaris is the brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Major. Orion is another constellation which is character from Greek mythology, a giant hunter who was placed in the stars by Zeus upon his death. The Big Dipper has a peculiar shape and is easy to find, and its more easy following the straight line from the North Star or Polaris, as the two stars on the outside of the bowl shape, point straight towards the Polaris, hence they are also known as the Pointer stars. Finding Polaris can help you find Ursa Minor as well, Polaris is the star at the end of the handle of Ursa minor. 


 Photo Source : Dan Mitchell (Gettyimages)

Orion, also known as the Hunteris visible in both hemispheres. The constellation mainly consists of bright blue super-giant stars. The most notable exception being the red super-giant Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse is the largest star in the constellation. It has 1000 times the radius of the sun. The 3 stars which forms a line through Middle of the constellation are as Orion’s Belt. The brightest stars in the constellation is Rigel which is 40,000 times brighter than sun. There is a lot more to Orion than just a few star that is why when astronomers talk about constellation they don’t just mean few stars that might look like something they also mean all others stuff that are part of night sky. Orion is the most easily recognizable constellation.The easiest way to find Orion in the night sky is to look for the belt of Orion, three stars resembling the shape of a bet on the hunter. 

orion Photo Source : Google images

Zodiac are group of constellations that forms a circular pattern in the night sky. Zodiac helps astronomers to figure out how other objects travels in the space. At the beginning of the January, the constellations of Sagittarius are highly visible to us on earth. The Greek called Sagittarius the Archer because it looks like a man shooting the arrow. Capricornus is also highly visible in January towards the end of the month. It is sometime called sea goat since it happens to have the head of a goat and the tail of a fish.

Next up in February is Aquarius or the water bearer, a group of ancient people called Babylonians thought that these group of star look like an old man pouring water from a picture.

Moving on to march we can see Pisces or the fishes. Pisces represents Venus, a roman goddess who is said to have turned into a fish, and jumped into a river to escape an evil monster.

Next up in April is Aries. In Greek mythology Aries was a ram with wings. The constellation of Taurus visible in may which look like a bull.

June’s prominent constellation, Gemini is sometime called the twins because it reminded the ancient Greeks of the twin’s son of Zeus.

Cancer which we can see pretty well in July is called the Crab because it reminds some folks.

August constellation is called Leo and looks like a ferocious lion. Seen in

September is Maidens (Virgo) since it looks like a lady holding grain which symbolize the harvest of the Greeks and the remains Libra appears in October when days and night are roughly equal and is considered as symbol of balance.

Scorpius, ‘The scorpion’ is visible in November.

Finishing off the year in late November is Ophiuchus which once called “Serpentarias” because it looks like a man holding serpent or snake. Out of 13 Zodiac constellation 12 of them are used as sign for the zodiac calendar and astrology. The zodiac constellation is located within a band that is about 20’ in the sky.


Photo Source : Google images

This article is contributed by Barsha Singh. Barsa is a student of B.Sc. Biology at Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, Ghantaghar, Kathmandu 

हाम्रा चोकको नयाँ अनुहार

बिहानको झिसमिसे र रातको १० बजै अगि बिरलै चोकको अनुहार राम्रोसँग देख्न पाइन्छ काठमान्डुमा। रङबेरङका दुइ/तीन/चारपाङ्ग्रे सवारीहरु,पैदलयात्रुहरु,ठेलागाडा तथा गाईवस्तुको सङ्म बन्छन् चोकहरु। अधिकांश नियमको परवाह नगरी चल्ने सवारीहरु र त्यसरी नै मनलाग्दी हिँड्ने पैदलयात्रुले गर्दा जामको पर्याय बन्छन चोकहरु। स्वचालित ट्राफिक बत्ती नभएर (भए पनि नियम माने त हो 😉 )मान्छेले सङ्केत गरेर चलाउनु पर्ने यो व्यवस्था कति जटिल छ तलका चित्रहरुमा कलङ्की चोक र यसमा हुने सवारी आवागमनको प्रवाह (Traffic maneuvers) हेरेर बुझ्न सकिन्छ।

कलङ्कीको सवारी प्रवाह

यो चोकमा एकपटकमा सवारी-साधनहरु करिब बाह्र दिशामा (चित्रमा अंकित गरे अनुसार) जान मिल्ने गरि लामबद्ध भएर बसेका हुन्छन। अहिलेको स्थितिमा सुहाउँदो ट्राफिक नियम नभएको कारणले यहाँको सवारी आवागमन अस्तव्यस्त छ ।  सवारीधनीहरुले आफु मनपरी सवारी चलाउने कारणले व्यवस्थापन गर्न हम्मे-हम्मे पर्छ। त्यसमाथि भएको आकाशे-पूल (Overhead bridge) नि भत्कईदिएपछि पैदल-यात्रुहरुले जथाभावी बाटो काट्ने गर्दा यातायातमा थप अवरोध पुगेको छ । यिनै कारणहरुले यात्रा असुरक्षित बन्नुका साथै बहुमुल्य समय ट्राफिक जाममा खेर जान्छ । अझ धुलो-धूँवा र अनावश्यक ‘हर्न ‘ बजाउने चलनले जोसुकैको पनि यात्रा कष्टकर बनेको छ।गम्भीर भएर सोच्ने हो भने अब यहाँ को ट्राफिक व्यवस्थित बनाउनुको विकल्प छैन । Continue reading “हाम्रा चोकको नयाँ अनुहार”

Digestion : The fermentative process

Digestion: The Fermentative processes

Digestion is the physiochemical breakdown of food particles and molecules into subunits suitable for absorption in gastrointestinal tract especially in glandular stomach. But in case of herbivores the digestion is the fermentative process (anaerobic breakdown of food). The herbivores signify the ruminant animals and non ruminant animals. The non ruminants bear a glandular stomach whereas ruminants bear four chambered stomach viz. rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. The rumen is largest stomach acts as a fermentative chamber and abomasums resembles glandular stomach of non ruminants. Continue reading “Digestion : The fermentative process”

Extraterrestrial Activities around Us

An observable universe may contain 100 billions of galaxies. Galaxies contain dust, gas, dark matters countless stars and Planets. Our solar system  consist of the Sun as the average size of star and eight planets, satellites of the planets, numerous comets, asteroids and the interplanetary medium and of course gas and dust particles. Among eight or nine planets (if Pluto is also considered as a planet) only the Earth is known to support the living beings. As it contains suitable environment for living they are water, air, soil. The question raised is the “Are we alone?” What if not only water, air and soil are only the basic component of the life? What if there are other solar systems within the galaxies and what if there are planets like the Earth, what if there is another planet which supports the life. As study of these things are too difficult as study of existence of god or ghost.

There are obviously two kinds of people,one who believe in the existence of the life in another planets or existence of extraterrestrial while the other type who always deny this fact. There still exist  some group of people who think the earth is flat though it is oblate Spheroid  so, many people easily deny the fact of the existence of extraterrestrial. There are no such evidences yet to openly confirm the existence of extraterrestrial or aliens but there are many researches that have been done regarding its existence.  So it is considered as the hypothetical life form that might range from simple living such as bacteria to the advanced life form than humans.

Few interesting probable extraterrestrial incidents are:

Continue reading “Extraterrestrial Activities around Us”

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