Annual Gemenid Meteor Shower lights up sky

James Marshall
December 11, 2017

The meteor shower is annual according to, occurring every year when Earth's orbit coincides with debris shed by a rocky object, Pantheon 3200. As this material comes in contact with our atmosphere, it starts burning up, creating the attractive night show.

She adds at its peak (between 1 and 3 a.m.), there should be around 120 meteors an hour that are visible, or about two meteors a minute in complete darkness. However, during peak hours after midnight, the number of shooting stars could be as high as 100 or above.

"When you see a meteor, try to trace it backwards", said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. Conditions will be best during 7:30 p.m. on December 13, and in the early morning on the following day. Last year's Geminids were largely a dud because of a full moon, but this time around the moon will be a waning crescent, assuring dark skies. Head out to watch the Geminid Meteor Shower! The Geminid meteor shower is nearly two centuries old, and its first recorded observation was in 1833 from the Mississippi River, USA.

Starhunter explains the meteor shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini from which the meteors radiate. Just get to the place of your choice, lie back and wait for the show to start. It's up to meteor watchers to find a location that's free of light pollution. Slooh will broadcast the event, using live feeds from multiple observatories, and from sites in the UK, Sweden and CT in the US.

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