Geminid meteor shower: 100s of shooting stars visible late Monday night

PHOTO: The Geminid Meteor Shower will be visible late Monday night. (via Flickr Jeff Sullivan)

For those up late tomorrow night, the Geminid meteor shower will be visible in the night sky late on Monday night. The heavenly display happens each year, usually between December 4 and December 17 each year and is one of the best opportunities to see dozens of shooting stars with the naked eye.

In a post on Facebook, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand informed the public that the Geminid meteor shower will be visible late on Monday evening until Tuesday in the early morning. While the shower is expected to start around midnight Monday night, later than last year’s shower, early in the shower the light of the moon high in the sky will be likely to obscure many of the shooting stars until around 1:30 am.

The peak of the meteor shower is expected to be from 2 am on until dawn. The Geminid meteor shower is known to be one of the night sky’s most brilliant shows, with as many as 150 meteors visible to the naked eye every hour of the shower. It is considered the most active and consistent meteor shower out of all the showers that occur yearly.

The shooting stars are caused by the dust and debris that is shed by an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, which has an orbit that streaks past the Earth and passes closer to the sun than any other named asteroid. The Geminid meteor shower is one of the few seen on Earth not originating from a comet. It was first observed in 1862, unlike other meteor showers that have been observed for centuries.

To get the best view and observe the greatest number of shooting stars as possible tomorrow night, NARIT advised people to seek out a location away from city lights or any ambient lighting. Remote areas will allow stargazers the darkest skies to get the best views of the Geminid meteor shower.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.