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Geminid Meteor Shower 2017 – Most Reliable Meteor Shower of The Year

Geminid Meteor Shower Eye Of the Needle Credit: David Kingham Photography - @davidkingham

Geminid Meteor Shower Eye Of the Needle Credit: David Kingham Photography – @davidkingham

Geminid Meteor Shower 2017

The Geminid meteor shower is the grand finale of astronomical events in 2017.  It’s the most reliable and prolific of the annual meteor showers.

This year the Moon won’t be present (last quarter) when the Geminids at their peak, promising dark skies which will reveal the fainter meteors. An added bonus as the Geminids are renowned for having plenty to see with the brighter meteors/ fireballs being spectacular!

When to Watch

The Geminids begin on the 4th of December and peak on the evenings of the 13th/ 14th December. The shower ends on December 16th. (Dates are approximate)

Numerous bright Geminid meteors

Geminid rates can be in excess of 80 -120 shooting stars per hour at peak for those with clear dark (Moonless) skies.

Geminid meteors are usually bright and can leave long persistent trains.

If observing opportunities aren’t possible on the evenings of December 13th/ 14th, observers can usually see high meteor activity a day or so either side of the peak. It may be possible to spot Geminids on the previous weekend if late mid week evenings are difficult for you.

For more info please see How to observe Meteors.

As well as being the grand finale of 2017, the Geminids are special in another way. Unlike most meteor showers the Geminids originate from an object known as 3200 Phaethon. Thought to be an asteroid, not a comet.

Geminid Meteor Shower 2017 – Meteorwatch

To celebrate this highly enjoyable event there will be the Geminid Meteorwatch. Anyone with an interest in the night sky can join in on twitter, facebook.

The event will be an excellent opportunity to learn, share information, pictures and more whatever your level of interest and will run for a few days.  All you need to do is follow along using the #meteorwatch hashtag.

As well as the wealth of information shared on twitter and facebook etc, there are helpful guides available on meteorwatch.org so you can get the most out of your meteorwatch.

You don’t need a telescope or anything, just your eyes and a little bit of patience to see Geminid shooting stars.

Good luck

Geminid Meteor Shower 2014

Geminid Meteor Shower 2014

 

8 Responses to “Geminid Meteor Shower 2017 – Most Reliable Meteor Shower of The Year”

  • Chris Jordan says:

    will there be an uptodate notification every evening through from the 4th to the 16th December on best viewing directions I live not far from Teggs Nose off the Buxton road and have noticed over last couple of years telescopes galore and very friendly people always able to give you advice and help. ME AT 69 sometimes needs some technical stuff and jargon explaining cheers in anticipation from all that are able to do that for me and the wife

  • Alan says:

    In the space of 15 minutes I saw three meteors shoot across the sky – quite spectacular. West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, had a very clear night and visibility enhanced by lack of obv moonlight.

  • Fifi says:

    Which part of the sky should we be looking at? NSEW?? We suffer badly from light pollution to the south and east, which often affects night observations.

  • Tony Markham says:

    You need to correct some errors on this website:

    “Peak is on the evening of the 13th/ 14th of December.”

    *** peak in 2015 is actually on the afternoon of Dec 14, so Dec 13-14 and 14-15 should both be good from the UK.

    “(fainter meteors may be missed due to the gibbous Moon in the small hours).”

    *** there is no gibbous Moon in the small hours – New Moon in 2015 is on Dec 11

    “Geminid meteors are usually bright with long persistent trains.”

    *** actually hardly any Geminids (only about 3%) leave persistent trains

    • Meteorwatch says:

      Thank you for pointing this out Tony.
      The post was recycled from the 2014 version and not all of the current edits were saved. They were basically the corrections you suggested.
      Corrections have been added and now the post is up to date.
      Many thanks for bringing this to our attention

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