Geminid meteor shower peaks bringing shooting stars to our skies

Rebecca Lewis


Stargazers were treated to a spectacular light display last night as the annual Geminid meteor shower reached its peak.

The best chances of seeing the meteor shower was in the far north of Scotland as cloud cover in the southern parts of England obscured some of the best views. The Shetland islands had clear skies while Paisley were also treated to the Geminids.

At its peak, viewers can see as much as 100 meteors shoot across the sky hourly from almost anywhere on Earth.

Last night was particularly special as the moonless sky provided great visibility.

The showers come every year as the Earth passes through the path of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, first discovered in 1983.

The asteroid leaves behind a trail of debris that moves at 35km per second and burns up in the Earth's atmosphere in an incredible fiery display. The spectacle gives the impression of shooting stars.

The shower peaked at 11.30pm last night and originated near the star Castor in the Gemini constellation.

Geminids will be visible until December 17th. Stargazers are recommended to get away from the glare of city lights, lie on the ground and look straight up at the sky to see as much as possible.

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