How to Watch Geminids: The king of meteor showers

Geminids are considered to be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year. These meteors are caused when streams of cosmic debris from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon enter Earth’s atmosphere. Geminids peak every year around December 13-14. One can expect to see more than 100 meteors per hour under optimal conditions.

Geminids meteor shower in the Northern hemisphere (Image Credit: Asim Patel/Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0 )

When to see?

Geminids can be seen during the first two weeks of December but they usually peak around December 13-14. The good news is that this particular meteor shower has been observed to intensify every year. In the recent years, people have reportedly spotted around 120 to 160 meteors per hour. 

This year’s meteor shower should be impressive because the waxing crescent moon will set in the evening and hence, the moonlight will not interfere with the meteors. The best viewing hours are around 2 a.m. (Morning of 14th December). 

Where to see?

A Geminid meteor (Image: NASA/George Varros)

Geminids appear to originate from a point in the constellation Gemini but they can appear almost anywhere in the night sky. These meteors are very bright and tend to be yellow in color.

For best viewing, choose a location that is away from the city lights with minimum light pollution. Give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Once done, lie on your back, look straight up and enjoy the spectacular show put on by the bright, yellow meteors!

Happy Stargazing! If you have any queries, feel free to ask them in the comments.


19 thoughts on “How to Watch Geminids: The king of meteor showers

    1. Not sure about the cities! You need a dark location to see this. Medium light pollution would be fine but in metro cities, spotting the meteors would be difficult. Will make an article on the comet soon!


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