Geminids meteor shower visible above Perth from December 4; reaching a peak December 13 and 14

Meteor falling via NASA
Meteor falling via NASA

THE Geminids meteor shower will be active in the night skies above Perth from tonight.

Touted by Perth Observatory as the meteor shower to see in the southern hemisphere, they reach their peak on the nights of December 13 and 14.

The shower is active for a two week period from December 4 to December 17 and with the Moon already set, stargazers can see anywhere from 70 to 120 meteors per hour.

The meteor shower appears to come from the Gemini constellation with the streaks caused by tiny dust particles and meteors hitting our atmosphere at tremendous speed and burning up due to friction.

In summer, Gemini can be found low on the horizon in a north-east direction before setting in the north-west.

When looking at Gemini try to look about 30 to 45 degrees left or right of the constellation to spot the Geminids.

This is because the meteors aren’t necessarily coming from the Gemini constellation, but if you trace the meteor streaks that occur back to their radiant point it’s the Gemini constellation.

The Geminids were first discovered in 1862 and occur because the Earth is travelling through left-over material from the tail of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.

The Gemini Constellation which the meteor shower is named after appears in the sky around 10pm so it’s best to go out and watch for them after midnight when Gemini is higher in the sky.

On the night of the December 13 and 14, Perth Observatory will be open from 10:30pm to 2am and stargazers can book to view the Geminids at the Observatory here.