Beautiful Geminids Meteor Shower Brings 100 Shooting Stars Per Hour Wednesday
The month of December comes with celestial treats of all kinds, including the gorgeous Geminid meteor shower. The Geminids produce the year’s most reliable meteor shower that takes place annually each December.
While some sky watchers may be awaiting on the rare asteroid eclipse that will see asteroid Leona move in front of the star Betelgeuse on December 11, 2023, others are preparing for the annual Geminid meteor shower. The celestial spectacle has the potential to rain down more than 100 meteors per hour, with some reports in the recent past catching as many as 150 shooting stars in just an hour’s time. The Geminid meteor shower is expected to peak on the night of December 13, 2023, and into the morning hours of December 14.
While the Perseid meteor shower may garner more attention due to it occurring during warmer weather in the Northern Hemisphere, the Geminids are expected to produce more hourly meteors lighting up the night sky each year. Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere are expected to see the most shooting stars, but those in the Southern Hemisphere can expect to see a few as well.
Ideal conditions will comprise a clear sky, and hopefully temperatures that won’t freeze one to death. According to NASA, those in the Northern Hemisphere can expect to see shooting stars as early as 9 or 10pm on the night of December 13. The number of falling space rocks should increase each hour after that, with the greatest number lighting up the night sky between midnight and morning twilight.
The meteors will seem to shoot out from the constellation Gemini in the night sky above, but it is suggested to look straight overhead and take in as much of the sky as possible to see the most shooting stars.
There is one more smaller meteor shower in December as well, the Ursids on the night of December 21, 2023, with an expected rate of around 10 meteors per hour. Then on the third day of 2024, the Quadrantids are expected to showcase up to 25 meteors per hour. The next moderate meteor shower is not expected until April 2024.
Anyone daring enough to venture out to view the upcoming Geminid meteor shower will need to dress accordingly.