How (and where) to watch tonight's Geminid meteor shower

Geminid meteor shower: Viewers in the Southwest and Southeast will have the best meteor viewing conditions. Here are some strategies for blocking the moonlight and nearby artificial light.

The Weather Channel
The meteors in this shower appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini but they can appear almost anywhere in the night sky.

Late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, streaks of white will light up dark skies. But to get the best views of the Geminid meteor shower, here are a few strategies to employ.

­ This evening marks the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, an annual celestial celebration when Earth passes through debris from the asteroid Phaethon. NASA predicts a peak of more than 100 meteors per hour.

Because the last-quarter moon will be quite bright, the meteors will be most visible in the darkest places, far from cities or other artificial light sources. EarthSky, a Texas-based science website, recommends manually blocking out the moon by sitting near a treeline — or, it says, just look away from the moon.

NASA says that viewers should set aside plenty of time to watch a meteor shower, as it takes 30 minutes for eyes to adjust to the darkness. So dress warmly and bring blankets to beat the December temperatures.

The most meteors will likely be visible at around 2 a.m. local time anywhere on the planet, which is when the Gemini constellation peaks in the sky, according to EarthSky. While the shower hits its peak tonight, amazing views are not guaranteed worldwide. Weather can ruin the show and there are no guarantees that you'll spot the cosmic debris.

“Meteor showers are like fishing. You go, you enjoy nature … and sometimes you catch something,” EarthSky says on its website.

Northern Hemisphere viewers will have a better show, as the constellation barely clears the horizon in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the U.S., viewers in the Southwest and Southeast will have the best conditions, while the Midwest and the West Coast are worse off, AccuWeather Meteorologist Andy Mussoline predicts.

If you're far from natural darkness, Slooh, a robotic telescope, will stream the meteor shower live on its website starting at 8 p.m. EST.

The Geminid meteor shower is the last of the year. Up next is the early-January Quadrantids shower, but the very short peak watch time coupled with a nearly-full moon will limit visibility, according to EarthSky. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to How (and where) to watch tonight's Geminid meteor shower
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today