Geminids: most spectacular meteor shower in the world heads over UK this weekend

As many as 100 meteors an hour will be visible during the most intense bits of the shower

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Beginning this weekend, the UK’s most spectacular meteor shower will be visible, as the Geminids pass overhead.

The showers peak next weekend, on 13-14 December, when more than 50 meteors an hour will be visible. At its peak, more than 60-100 shooting stars can be seen.

The meteor shower will be most visible if the skies are clear and cloudless.

To get the best view, you should head away from lights to a clear place. (It will likely be cold, so wrap up warm.) Let your eyes get used to the dark, which will take about 15-20 minutes.

They will be visible from around 10pm, and will get most visible at around 2am-3am.

Lie looking up to the skies and look anywhere — meteors appear randomly in the sky, so keep an eye on as much of it as possible. It can take a few minutes before any appear, so don’t look away for too long.

The Geminids are different from other meteor showers because they come from an asteroid, rather than a comet. That makes them more gritty and rocky than other meteor showers, and means that they’re easier to see.

The meteor shower got its name because they come from a part of the sky associated with Gemini.

They have been getting stronger over time — and always appear in December — being first reported in the mid-1800s. Every time the asteroid goes past the sun, more bits break off and join the shower.