Fascinating Celestial Show: Peak of the Geminids on December 14th
In mid-December, the night sky regularly delights us with a special highlight: the Geminids reach their peak. This year, the spectacle will occur on the evening of December 14, 2023, around 8 PM (MEZ). Then, theoretically, up to 150 shooting stars per hour will dart across the firmament. This unusually high number makes the meteor shower one of the most abundant of the year. According to the German “Vereinigung der Sternfreunde” (Association of Star Friends), depending on the brightness of the sky, one can observe 30 to 60 shooting stars per hour – so up to 1 meteor per minute. Among these, there will also be some very bright objects to admire.
Regarding the moon, the conditions this year are very favourable due to the new moon the day before. Even if the skies should be initially cloudy, patience could be rewarded, as the Geminids will be present throughout the night. Those who wish to admire the shooting stars should direct their gaze towards the constellation Gemini at the onset of darkness. The meteors seem to originate from this constellation, which is also the source of their name. The Gemini constellation can be seen in the eastern sky in the evening, moves to the south during the night, and will be located in the northwest by morning.
For those who miss the Geminids, there's no long wait for the next meteor shower. The Ursids are up next, peaking from the night of December 22 to the early hours of December 23, just before Christmas.