Keep your eyes on the skies! A spectacular meteor shower will light up the night sky next month, and you won't want to miss the show.
The Geminids meteor shower, which is said to be one of the best meteor showers of the year, will peak in mid-December.
According to NASA, the Geminids meteor shower is considered to be "one of the best and most reliable annual meteor showers," and has grown to become one of the major meteor showers of the year.
Geminids are bright and fast meteors that tend to be yellow in colour. Unlike other meteor showers that originate from comets, Geminids come from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon that orbits the sun once every 1.4 years.
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, Geminids occur every year from about November 19 to December 16, meaning that you could actually see the meteors in the sky now, although you'll want to hold out for the best viewing later in December.
The meteor shower's peak, when the most meteors fall per hour, is the best time to watch. The Geminids will peak on December 14, 2023. During this time, 120 Geminid meteors can be seen per hour (under perfect conditions).
How to watch the Geminids meteor shower
Look for the Geminids on the night of December 13 and into the morning of December 14, 2023.
The radiant of the meteor shower, or the point in the sky from which the shooting stars appear to come, is the constellation Gemini.
However, you don't have to just look at the constellation to see the meteors — they'll be visible across the sky.
This year, the peak of the Geminids will share the sky with a waxing crescent Moon, according to EarthSky, which will set early in the evening, making for optimal viewing conditions.
According to the Almanac, Geminid meteors can be seen all night long because Gemini rises so early, though the best viewing will come around 2 a.m.
For those who don't like to stay up late, the show will be in full swing by about 9 p.m. thanks to the early sunsets in December, with shooting stars streaking through the sky every minute or two all night.
As for where to see the Geminids in Canada, ideally, you'll want to go somewhere with dark skies away from city lights.
Thankfully, Canada has many dark sky preserves where you can find some of the darkest skies in the country. Bundle up against the cold and come prepared to take in a dazzling display.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.