Thursday–Friday, Dec. 13–14, midnight to dawn — Geminids Meteor Shower Peak
The Geminids meteor shower, one of the most spectacular of the year, runs from December 4 to 16 annually. In 2018, it will peak before dawn on Friday, December 14, when up to 120 meteors per hour are possible to see under dark sky conditions. Geminids meteors are often bright, intensely colored, and slower moving than average because they are produced by particles dropped by an asteroid designated 3200 Phaethon. The best time to watch for Geminids will be sunset on Wednesday until dawn on Thursday morning. At about 2 a.m. local time, the sky overhead will be plowing into the densest part of the debris field. The early-setting crescent moon on the peak night will provide a dark sky for meteor-watchers.
Geminid meteor shower radiant
Geminid meteors appear to diverge from a single spot in the sky, called the radiant, located in the constellation Gemini. But you'll see as many as possible if you lean back and take in the whole sky — they can appear anywhere across the sky, traveling away from that point.
How Meteor Showers Work (Infographic)
Learn why famous meteor showers like the Perseids and Leonids occur every year [See the Full Infographic Here].
A Meteor Over Hawaii
A meteor streaks across the sky above Kahului, Hawaii in this photo by Marcus Rodrigues. He captured this view from atop Haleakalā, or the East Maui Volcano.
A Cosmic Selfie
Astrophotographer Sergio Garcia Rill snapped this cosmic selfie with a fireball meteor at Lake Corpus Christi State Park in Mathis, Texas during the Geminid meteor shower on Dec. 15, 2018.
Geminids Over Texas
Geminid meteors and the Orion constellation light up the sky over Lake Corpus Christi State Park in Mathis, Texas in this stacked image captured by astrophotographer Sergio Garcia Rill on Dec. 14, 2018. "I set my camera to shoot towards this tree that was being backlit by the light pollution on the other side of the lake and blended seven meteors that I captured during an hour," Rill told Space.com.
Dashing Through the Stars
Two Geminid meteors pass by the Pleiades star cluster and appear to head toward Comet 46P/Wirtanen in this image by astrophotographer Jeff Berkes.
A Green Meteor
Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes captured this photo of a Geminid meteor over Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland on Dec. 14, 2018, at 5 a.m. local time.
Fireball Over Maryland
A Geminid fireball blazes through the sky above a campfire at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland during the Geminid meteor shower. Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes snapped this photo on Dec. 14, 2018, at 2:30 a.m. local time.
A Shower of Meteors
Geminid meteors rain down on Lake Corpus Christi State Park in Mathis, Texas, in this stacked image captured by astrophotographer Sergio Garcia Rill on Dec. 14, 2018.