The Geminid Meteor Shower, which starts December 4 and runs through December 17, will peak on the nights of December 13 and 14, 2019.
The Geminid meteor shower is considered the best meteor shower of the year because it is the most intense and consistent annual meteor shower that can be seen from almost any point on Earth.
The Geminids meteor shower begins around 9 p.m. every evening at the viewer’s respective local time from December 4 through December 17. The meteor shower will be the most intense and directly overhead during the hours of 1 to 3 a.m.
The most amount of meteors will be visible during the Geminid meteor shower’s peak from midnight to 4 a.m. on December 14 when the radiant is highest in the sky.
Expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour between midnight and 4 a.m. on the morning of December 14, but only from a dark and cloudless sky.
Geminids can be seen on nights before and after the December 14 peak, although they will appear less frequently.
According to the latest sky cover forecast from NOAA, every state in the continental U.S. will have at least one cloudless night to watch the Geminid Meteor Shower this week.
The Geminids meteor shower is the most intense meteor shower of the year and can be seen from almost any point on Earth, depending on local cloud cover and artificial lighting.
Geminids meteors stream from a point called “the radiant” in the constellation Gemini. They will rise in the east around 9 p.m. and be directly overhead at 2 a.m. The meteor shower sets in the western sky just before sunrise.
Most meteor showers come from comets, which spew ample meteoroids for a night of ‘shooting stars.’ The Geminids are different.
They are produced when Earth plows through a cloud of debris from an oddball object named 3200 Phaethon, which some astronomers describe as a cross between an asteroid and a comet.
Once thought to be an asteroid, Phaethon is now classified as an extinct comet. It is the rocky skeleton of a comet that lost its ice after too many close encounters with the sun.
There were no recorded Geminids before the mid-1800s. The first Geminids shower suddenly appeared in 1862, surprising sky watchers who saw 15 or so shooting stars each hour.