Eyes in the sky: Weekend meteor shower on


Summertime is peak season for fireworks displays, especially around Christmas and New Years, but tonight there will also be a natural fireworks display in the night sky.

The Geminids meteor shower will see multi-coloured shooting stars burning up in our atmosphere on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th.

NASA expert Bill Cooke said that the Geminid meteor shower is expected from 9 p.m of December 13, but it will peak in the wee hours of morning at around 2 a.m on December 14, the time the radiant point is also at its highest.

Every December, Earth's orbit leads us through the trail of 3200 Phaethon and its debris, which crashes into our atmosphere and is known as the Geminid shower.

People looking to the southern skies on Friday should be able to see the shooting stars, although the Met Office said there will be patchy cloud overnight.

What is the Geminids meteor shower?

The Geminid Meteor Shower, while one of the brightest, is often overlooked because it always occurs when it's cold outside. "If you're lucky, you'll see perhaps 60 meteors in an hour, which is one meteor per minute", but "30 to 40 per hour is much more realistic", he said. Wherever you go, give yourself ample time to hang out; experts say it takes about 20-30 minutes for one's eyes to fully adjust to the night sky.

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Accuweather noted those who do venture outside will be rewarded with multi-colored meteors in the most intense of all meteor showers.

According to AccuWeather, people in the central USA will have the best view of the meteor shower, while those in northwestern and eastern states will mostly see clouds.

Astronomers believe the shower is caused by an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon, although they aren't quite sure of what it's made. Unlike other meteor showers, it's unclear where the debris is actually trailing from.

MORE DETAILS: This is the closest pass by a comet to the Earth this year and the 10th closest approach since 1950 (getting as close as about 7 million miles).

The Geminids meteor shower has a Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) of 120. The Agency has also published a blog post about how you can watch Geminid Meteor Shower 2018 online this year.

The shower will be visible to the naked eye and best seen in areas with low light pollution.