How to watch the Geminid meteor shower


This week is expected to bring the peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower, which NASA says “is considered to be one of the best and most reliable annual meteor showers.”

The annual event is unique in its ubiquity — no matter where viewers are around the world, they can look up at the sky and see meteors during the active range of Nov. 19–Dec. 24.

This year is especially exciting, since the peak of the active meteor shower will take place early Dec. 14 at 2 a.m. – just after the new moon, meaning the sky will be almost completely dark, setting up the perfect conditions to watch the meteor shower.

There are certain conditions, however, that are necessary in order to see the meteor shower.

Experts at NASA advise people to find an area away from city or streetlights and “come prepared for winter temperatures,” meaning don’t forget a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.

The shower starts at approximately 9 or 10 p.m., NASA says, and continues until dawn. It takes some time for eyes to adjust to the dark sky so “be patient.”

“Lie flat on your back with your feet facing south and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient – the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse,” NASA advises.

Under perfect conditions, 120 Geminid meteors can be seen in the sky per hour, at its peak. There might be long stretches without any meteors in the sky, so don’t expect them to be evenly paced.

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