Mostly glowing white, they may also appear yellow, blue, green or red. The Geminids are the only meteor shower created by an asteroid and not a comet. The Geminid Meteor Shower a true spectacle and it's going to be at its best, brightest and clearest. But 3200 Phaethon has an orbit matching the Geminids, making it the prime candidate.
Geminid is composed of debris from asteroid 3200 Phaethon, discovered in 1983 and which measures about two miles wide and has surface temperatures estimated at 1200 degrees. The shooting stars also streak through the skies at a noticeably slower pace, encounteringEarth at about 22 miles (35 kilometers) per second, or about half speed of the Perseids meteors' 37 miles (60 kilometers) per second.
This particular meteor show is called the Geminids because it seems to radiate from the constellation of Gemini.
In the month of December every year, a meteor shower wows skywatchers around the world. South African star gazers can enjoy the shower at its peak the following night into the morning of Saturday 15 December.
In the United Kingdom, the best time to see them will be between midnight and dawn on 14 December, but you can start looking any time after sunset.
This phenomenon was first recorded in 1862 and causes a show each December.
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You should be able to spot the shooting stars without a telescope. This will occur from late tonight to the early hours of tomorrow morning, with 2am offering ideal viewing conditions. Though the Geminids favor the Northern Hemisphere, the meteors will be visible from the Southern Hemisphere as well.
So where exactly in the sky should you look to see the meteor shower?
Clear skies are essential for optimum viewing, so keep an eye on the weather before heading out.
Geminid meteors are bright and fast (79,000 mph), and the shower is famous for producing fireballs, which are meteors brighter than magnitude -4, the same magnitude as the planet Venus. Devoid of any special equipment, you can view a couple of meteors every minute. Then simply give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark.
"If you can see the familiar winter constellations Orion and Gemini in the sky, you'll see some Geminids", NASA explained in a skywatching video.