Geminid meteor shower 2022 – live: Biggest ‘shooting stars’ event of the year peaks tonight
The Geminid meteor shower is peaking on Wednesday night, with bright dazzling ‘shooting stars’ streaking across the sky.
The celestial event happens every December, though 2022 brings excellent viewing conditions across most of the UK.
It is unusual in that it is caused by the debris left behind by an asteroid. When the Earth moves through that trail of debris, the pieces smash into our atmosphere and light up as they do, appearing as streaking stars across the sky.
Usually, as many as 150 meteors per hour can be seen in the show, which makes it among the best of the year for actually spotting a meteor.
This year, the brightness of the Moon will have a slightly diminishing effect, with Nasa predicting between 30-40 meteors per hour.
Forecasts from the UK Met Office suggest ideal weather conditions on Wednesday night, with clear skies across most parts of the UK.
How to see the Geminids meteor shower
How to capture the Geminid Meteor Shower 2022
Where to watch meteor shower from
Photographs of Geminids appear on Twitter
01:14 , Graeme Massie
Geminids 2022 from Eastern Oklahoma. Before the moon came up at 9.30. This is a stacked image of meteors over about 1 hour with the darkest sky. The moon came up at 9.30 and the sky got too bright. #Geminids #Meteorshower pic.twitter.com/aIX2GQ56jd
— Paul M Smith (@PaulMSmithPhoto) December 15, 2022
How to see the Geminid meteor shower
22:04 , Graeme Massie
Here’s our full guide for spotting the Geminid meteor shower tonight.
Best time to see Geminid Meteor Shower 2022 in the UK
20:10 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Most of the UK and Ireland currently has remarkably good weather for viewing the Geminid Meteor Shower tonight, according to the latest forecasts from the Met Office.
Here’s how the weather map currently looks:
For anyone on the south coast or in East Anglia, don’t lose heart. The skies will clear as the night goes on, with the best views on offer in the early hours. Equally, anyone in Ireland are better off going outside now to check out the shower, as they might not have much longer to do so,
This is the current forecast from the Met Office for 5am:
How to capture the Geminid Meteor Shower 2022
19:30 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Professional photographers have given their tips for capturing the Geminid meteor shower, with all saying that some kind of tripod to steady the camera is essential.
It’s worth using a tripod for taking pictures with a smartphone too, as any camera shake can compromise the quality of the pictures – but if you don’t have one to hand you can simply rest your phone on a window ledge
Arguably the best technique is to use a timelapse feature on your camera or smartphone, though for anyone without those capabilities then there are some other methods that can help capture shooting stars.
David Reneke, an astronomer and writer for Australian science magazine advises anyone using an SLR or DSLR camera to play with aperture settings on your camera to photograph the night sky.
Burst settings can also capture multiple photos at once.
For older smartphones that use a digital zoom rather than an optical zoom, it’s generally best not to use the zoom as it could compromise the quality of the image. Instead, take the picture and then crop it.
Newer phones feature incredible zoom capabilities that can take detailed pictures of far away objects. Other cameras come with special features to improve pictures of the night sky, such as the Google Pixel’s Astro mode.
Weather forecast suggests clear skies across most of the UK
15:02 , Anthony Cuthbertson
The weather could almost not be better for a December evening, with the UK Met Office forecasting clear skies across most parts of the country this evening.
Other than parts of Cornwall and Devon, people in England and Wales should be able to expect a good showing once the Sun goes down. Unfortunately, conditions in north-easterly Scotland and Northern Ireland don’t look ideal.
Here’s how the weather will look at 10pm GMT tonight, according to the Met Office’s latest forecast:
Shower is peaking – and there’s just a couple of days left
12:34 , Andrew Griffin
The true peak of the meteor shower is early on 14 December. There’s still some time to see it, though – but not much time. The last opportunity is 17 December, though there won’t be many to see then.
Nasa image shows Geminids at their peak
12:33 , Andrew Griffin
This image, taken in 2014, shows what a good night of Geminids looks like. More than 100 meteors can be seen in the composite image.
Hello and welcome...
12:22 , Andrew Griffin
... to The Independent’s coverage of the Geminid meteor shower.