Heads up! Geminid meteor shower to peak early next week

This shower ordinarily produces dozens of meteors per hour!

A meteor from a meteor shower streaks across the night sky. ((Ian Forsyth/Getty Images), 2018 Ian Forsyth)

ROANOKE, Va. – Stargazers often look forward to this time of year, as it’s when the Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak. Don’t be surprised if you see a shooting star in the days leading up to next week, as this shower is currently active.

Peak activity is expected Sunday night into Monday morning, with NASA sometimes reporting close to 120 meteors per hour. EarthSky says that this shower ordinarily produces about 50 shooting stars per hour.


Some advantages to this shower is that you can start viewing it pretty early - around 9 or 10 p.m. The peak, however, is usually closer to 2 a.m. when the radiant point is higher in the sky.

Like any meteor shower, one advantage is that you won’t need any special equipment. That’s especially the case this year, as there will be a new moon. More dark sky to work with means the better chance of seeing more meteors.

Geminid meteor shower - 2020

Even still, you’ll want to bundle up and allow some time for your eyes to adjust. Patience is a virtue when it comes to watching meteor showers!


One possible disadvantage could be the weather, as Your Local Weather Authority is tracking a slow-moving front in the area. This could mean clouds and rain during the peak. We’ll keep you posted on all platforms and hope that this front can clear the area sooner.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.