Geminids meteor shower to peak on Dec. 14

The moon will only be illuminated 1% that night and will provide darker skies, but weather isn’t cooperating

The annual Geminids Meteor Shower will peak on Dec. 13, 14. (KSAT)

It’s considered one of the best and most reliable annual meteor showers.

The Geminids have returned and are set to peak on the evening of Dec. 13 into the morning of Dec. 14.

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The moon will only be illuminated 1% that night and will provide darker skies for even better viewing — weather permitting. And unfortunately, the weather on Wednesday night isn’t looking great for skygazing.

According to NASA, the Geminids first started appearing in the mid-1800s with about 10 to 20 meteors seen per hour. But they’ve grown to be one of the major meteor showers of the year. Now, during its peak, and if conditions are ideal, people can view about 120 Geminid meteors an hour.

Meteors are leftover comet particles or asteroid bits. The Geminids originate from the 3200 Phaethon asteroid. They get their name from the part of the sky where they emanate from — near the constellation Gemini.

“When these objects come around the Sun, they leave a dusty trail behind them. Every year Earth passes through these debris trails, which allows the bits to collide with our atmosphere where they disintegrate to create fiery and colorful streaks in the sky,” according to NASA.

For the best viewing, NASA officials say you should find a safe location away from bright city lights, lie flat on the ground with your feet pointing south and simply look up to the sky.

Be sure to check out the latest forecast.

About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.