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Make A Wish At The Meteor Shower In Kheerganga

Make A Wish At The Meteor Shower In Kheerganga
A view of the meteor shower from Kheerganga, Photo Credit: Chirantan Khastgir
01 Min Read

Witness imagined theater as streaks of vibrant star rays shooting across the star studded sky at this Himalayan campsite

Nothing wakes you up at three in the morning like the wind across a Himalayan campsite. In today’s four-walled environments, experiences like witnessing the Perseid meteor shower, spending two nights on a peak, skipping along a glacier, and dutifully shivering to the bone come nightfall while sipping hot tea may be rare, but are no longer pocket-heavy hobbies whatsoever. Although electric light has overpowered the flamboyance of the Milky Way in cities, there still exist places where the imagined theatre is on display every night. I chanced upon this view near the settlement of Kheerganga, Himachal Pradesh, with a not-so-professional camera and some aluminium wire for a tripod.

 

Initially, I could only manage to shoot blank frames, but with a little warm up and some trustworthy handheld technology, the compass was calibrated. Soon, 30-second exposures were yielding stark rays shooting across a perceivably calm and clear sky. The other probable spoilsport, our dear moon, was also on leave, presenting me with a rare dark night at the shower’s peak hours. The Perseids, probably the most popular celestial downpour of the year, is expected on the nights of August 12–13 (which too is a new moon) this year, and while outburst years (last, 2016) witness up to 150 to 200 meteors per hour, the count this time is purported to be a comparatively mellow 60 to 70. The long wait between such celestial events may diminish the excitement, but Keats settles the argument brilliantly. When did you last lie on dew-sprinkled grass, staring wide-eyed at the Milky Way, or make a wish on a meteor?

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