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

 

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