The Geminid Meteor Shower in 2020 is expected to be visible at its peak on the night of December 13-14. It is possible to see some spattering of meteors during nights of December 11-12 and 12-13 also.
Geminids are a very reliable shower. They occur every year from about December 4th to 16. The peak period is between December 13 to 14. The best time to watch them could be around 2am for all parts of the globe if watched in a dark sky. Though the shower favours the Northern Hemisphere, it will be visible from the Southern Hemisphere as well.
The parent body of this Geminid Shower is a curious rock comet called 3200 Phaethon. On a dark night, at its peak, you may be able to see 50 or more meteors per hour and could go up to 150 per hour.
Moon and Venus, the brightest orbs of nighttime will be ascending in the east on December 11,12 and 13 which is the best time for meteor-watching in the night.
The point in our sky from which the meteors seem to radiate is known as the radiant point. Geminids are best around 2am because that is the time when the shower’s radiant point is highest in the sky.
These meteors burn up in the upper atmosphere about 100kms (60 miles) above the earth’s surface.
Tips for meteor-watchers
- Where to watch: A Dark, Open Sky – very important as light and cloud can ruin the show
- Time to watch: Peak time – around 2am (or later) for all parts of globe
- It takes about 20 minutes for the eyes to adapt to the dark and hence give at least an hour’s time to watch
- Have a company – take someone with you so that both can watch in different directions and alert each other. You won’t miss any then
- Meteors often come in spurts, interspersed with lulls
- Lie back in comfort and look upward – Meteors can appear in all parts of the sky
Read more about the Geminid Meteor Shower 2020 here