Curiosity

The Year’s Biggest Meteor Shower Will Peak This Month

Make sure you get outside to see the show!

The Geminids meteor shower is widely acknowledged as the most active and reliable meteor shower skywatchers can spot every year.

The Geminids have been known to produce upwards of 100 meteors every hour, all of which originate from the Gemini constellation in the eastern sky.

This year, experts predict viewers will only be able to see around 20 – 30 meteors every hour because a nearly full moon will leave the night sky a little brighter.

The first visible meteors will start flying as early as 9 or 10 p.m. local time on December 13 and the meteor count increases through the night, peaking around 2 a.m on December 14.

To try your luck at spotting one of these “shooting stars,” you won’t need binoculars, a telescope or any fancy equipment — everything can be seen with the naked eye.

The Annual Perseid Meteor Shower
Getty Images | Ethan Miller

Just find a spot away from city lights – the darker the better – and allow your eyes 20 – 30 minutes to adjust to the dark.

The meteors can be seen anywhere in the sky, but you can increase your odds by looking to the east.

All of these meteors appear to emanate from the Gemini constellation, but the meteors falling through Earth’s atmosphere are actually pieces of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.

According to known records, this particular meteor shower is at least nearly 200 years old with the first recorded observation being made in 1833 from a riverboat on the Mississippi River.

Follow Meteorologist Jason Meyers on Twitter or watch one of his entertaining and educational YouTube videos.