The sky at night seen at Killiecrankie Scotland during the Geminid meteor shower December 14, 2010.
The sky at night seen at Killiecrankie Scotland during the Geminid meteor shower December 14, 2010. Reuters

On Dec. 14, the strongest meteor shower called the Geminids had streaked the night skies. However, people in the east coast of Australia could not see much of the meteor shower.

According to the Age, stargazers from Sydney could only see a patchy cloud cover when they looked heavenward on the night of Dec. 14. Rob Sharpe, a meteorologist from Weatherzone, the main provider for value-added meteorological services in Australia, said that the cloud cover was seen from 8 p.m. on Dec. 14 to 2 a.m. on Dec. 15. Since the peak of the Geminids meteor shower was expected to take place between midnight and dawn, the Sydney-siders missed the site.

Mr. Sharpe said that on the evening of Dec. 14, an upper trough had moved across the east coast of Australia. The trough resulted in some storms in Victoria as well as cloud cover in Sydney, the south coast of New South Wales, Snowy Mountains, Hunter regions and it was reported that there was patchy cloud cover further north.

He said that stargazers had seen some clouds moving in from Sydney at about 8 pm and that there would have been a few gaps in the cloud because of which spotting the shooting stars would have been hard. He said for the skies to be perfectly clear in Sydney, one would have had to wait till about 2 am.

It was said that between midnight and dawn there would be around 50 to 100 shooting stars every hour. A few of the stars were expected to glow in multiple colours and an occasional burst of 2 or 3.

A few of the people had success looking at the shower and one of them is Perry Vlahos, an astronomer from the Astronomical society, an organisation for professional astronomers in Australia. He reported seeing 18 meteors in a span of 2 hours between 12.30 am and 2.30 am on Dec. 15. in the south-east of Melbourne in Victoria.

Andrew Jacob is an astronomy curator at Sydney Observatory, a public observatory with the past and present of Australian astronomy. Jacob said that most of the meteors were small pieces of dust. He explained that the Geminids, though, were the size of a pea which made it the best shower for those watching it. He added that it was the best meteor with the brightest and longest meteor trails in the sky.