The annual Geminids meteor shower has arrived in Britain, with it expected to reach its peak tonight and into Monday.
The Geminid meteor shower over the Mither Tap in Bennachie, Aberdeenshire,in the early hours of Sunday Photo: Graeme Whipps /Geoff Robinson Photgraphy The Geminid meteor shower over the Mither Tap in Bennachie, Aberdeenshire,in the early hours of Sunday Photo: Graeme Whipps /Geoff Robinson Photgraphy
But what are the Geminids?
The Geminids are an annual meteor shower caused by the 3200 Phaethon asteroid. Its orbit brings it very close to the sun, causing its surface material to crumble and break off. The Earth passes through this space debris every December, which burns up as hits our atmosphere. These are the meteors visible in our sky. The Geminids were first observed relatively recently, in 1862, compared with the Perseids (36AD) and the Leonids (902AD).
The meteor shower appears to come from a point in the constellation Gemini, hence its name.
When and where can they be seen?
Sightings are possible around the world, but there's good news for Britons: the shower favours observers in the Northern Hemisphere over those in the Southern.
"The best time for viewings is around 2am, although the meteors should be visible (weather permitting) from around 10pm"