Stargazers will be able to gaze upwards at the end of this week and see bits of asteroid break apart in the night sky. The asteroid is only three miles wide, which is quite small. This has led to scientists saying it is more like an extinct comet than an asteroid. 

This asteroid is different to other meteors, as it moves more slowly across the sky as it burns. 

The Geminids also tend to be slightly brighter than the typical meteor. 

The Royal Observatory Greenwich said in its guide to the night sky: “The brightest often break up into numerous luminous fragments that follow similar paths across the sky.”

The Geminid showers usually produce more than 100 meteors per hour at its peak, according to NASA.

What time is the meteor shower visible in the UK and USA?

Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14 are the best days to see the Geminid meteor shower in both the UK and USA. 

This is due to the moon setting before midnight, which means the sky will be extra dark to see the bright shine of the meteors.

Over in the US, the best time will be just before dawn. 

But people in the UK and other parts of Europe will have the best chance of seeing the wonder from sunset on Thursday.

What are the Geminids?

The Geminids were first spotted almost 200 years ago in 1833. which is a lot more recent than other showers, such as the Perseids and Leonids.

The meteor shower is caused by dust and debris scattered in the path of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which also orbits Earth every 1.4 years.

To get the best view, people should also look towards the constellation of Gemini.

Amateur astronomer Ian Musgrave said: “If you look north, the two brightest stars you see immediately above the horizon are Castor and Pollux and the Geminids radiant is immediately below that.”

The Geminids also get their name from the constellation of Gemini, the twins. 



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