• Science

Geminid meteor shower lights up the sky in Yamanashi Prefecture

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A meteor streaks through the night sky over Lake Motosu in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Skygazers were treated to a Geminid meteor shower from late Monday night to predawn Tuesday beside Lake Motosu in Yamanashi Prefecture, where Mt. Fuji is visible in the background.

The Geminids are one of three large meteor showers that can be observed in Japan.

Many photographers set up tripods on an observation deck and at other spots around the lake, to take photos of the astronomical show in the winter sky. People at a nearby camping ground observed the meteor shower until late at night.

According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, about 50 meteors per hour were confirmed in Narusawa in the prefecture, at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, when the night sky darkened after the moon went below the horizon.

The Geminid meteor shower was predicted to be at its most spectacular at around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Many meteors may also be visible up through the hours before dawn on Wednesday.