The Geminid meteor shower is among the best and most reliable displays of nature’s fireworks. Like clockwork, the meteors burst out into the night sky each year in December. But the shower is most intense on one night in particular when more than 100 meteors an hour can be seen.
The Geminids appear each year when our planet smashes into a field of debris left in the path of the space rock 3200 Phaethon.
The meteors enter our skies at speeds of 22 miles per second.
When viewed from the ground, the falling stars appear near the star Castor in their namesake constellation, Gemini.
When is the Geminid meteor shower this year?
Geminids are typically active for about two weeks starting in early December.
According to the US space agency NASA, the window of activity extends from December 4 to December 13.
And the shower’s peak is expected to fall on the night of December 13 to 14 this year.
NASA said: “The Geminids, which peak during mid-December each year, are considered to be one of the best and most reliable annual meteor showers.”
“To view the Geminids, find an area well away from city or street lights.”
Sources of light pollution, like street lamps, cars and buildings can hinder your viewing experience.
You should also turn off your phone and allow your eyes to adjust to the dark. It could take up to 20 minutes.
If possible, find a viewing spot with an unobstructed view of the horizon.
Be patient, and remember to wrap up appropriately for a cold December night.