Get yourself a Geminid

The purists may say that the Full Moon will wash out the Geminid meteor shower this year but around the peak it is worth a try at seeing a few. The peak will occur around the mornings of the 13th and 14th December and the meteors can be seen all over the sky but following them back, they’ll all appear to radiate from a spot just above the stars Castor and Pollux in Gemini….. hence the name. On a perfect night with all sky vision the maximum count would be around 130 meteors per hour after midnight. Looking to the north east with the Moon behind you, you may see 10 or more per hour.

As you look up, remember you’re watching grains of dust from a rocky and icy body called 3200 Phaethon which were left behind on the rocks orbit around the Sun and now the Earth is passing through them.

Those streaks are 100km up and mark the path of the dust grains burning up in our atmosphere.

Click here to see a bigger version of the diagram.