Geminid Meteor Shower 2018: Where and when to watch it peak tonight

While we are treated to several meteor showers throughout the year, most pale in comparison to the grand finale - the Geminids.

And though the Geminids were first documented in the 1860s, this meteor shower is relatively new.

To see the meteor shower you need to be facing south and you should be able to see it without the need of any telescopes as long as the sky isn't too cloudy.

To catch this year's show, head outside after dark, ideally after the moon sets at 10:30 p.m. local time (with dark skies, it will be easier to see the fainter, more frequent meteors).

The Geminid is likely to be at it's most visible between midnight and 2am when there will be around 100-120 meteors per hour.

Here's one great option: the Dubai Astronomy Group will be holding a special public event on Friday evening at Al Qudra lakes from 10pm until 4am. Of course, optimal viewing conditions for a meteor shower include being somewhere far from light pollution and outdoors, which for some people just isn't an option. You can book tickets for the session here.

The Geminids are a meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon. However, simply steer clear of bright lights, polluted city areas and skyscrapers to witness nature's magic.

The meteors in the Geminid meteor shower appear to come from the constellation Gemini. There's no specific direction in the sky to look to find them. "The dust and grit burn up when they run into Earth's atmosphere in a flurry of 'shooting stars, '" according to NASA.

Geminid meteor showers occur when moves through the debris from asteroid 3200 Phaeton as it orbits the sun.

The Geminid meteor shower comes along once per year when the Earth passes through the trail of debris left behind by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, making it somewhat unique.

NASA suggests going to the darkest place you can, give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the dark, including looking at your cell phone.

Google says Phaethon is named after the ancient Greek god Apollo's son.

It was initially classified but because of its eccentric orbit that looks more like that of a comet and brings it well inside the orbit of Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.

When is the meteor shower?

"But the Geminids are often the best display of "shooting stars" all year".

  • Joey Payne