Look up! Geminid meteor shower to peak this week

The Geminid meteor shower peaks with dozens of shooting stars being visible per hour (if you’re in the right place).

Sky & Telescope Associate Editor Sean Walker created this composite image of Geminid meteors. (Sean Walker, Sky & Telescope)

ROANOKE, Va. – Just like the Perseid meteor shower in August, the Geminid meteor shower is an annual show in the night sky that most sky-gazers look forward to in mid-December.

In 2023, the Geminids are of particular interest since the moon will be a few days removed from its “new” phase, so it doesn’t dim out as many shooting stars.

According to Tony Rice, an ambassador to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the reports of “100-120 meteors per hour” are likely overdone.

When factoring in clouds, light pollution, the horizon, etc., you’re more likely to see dozens per hour.

The Geminid meteor shower peaks Thursday night, 12/14/2023.

You have to get to a dark spot away from city lights, and you have to give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness.

Rice says that because this shower is sourced by an asteroid and not a comet, the area where meteors streak away from will be high in the sky at and after sunset.

The best times to look will be between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. The radiant point will be in the eastern sky.

The peak night for activity will be Thursday night, Dec. 14, 2023.

If you happen to get any pictures of the Geminids this year, send them to us through Pin It.

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.

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