In 2018, the Geminid meteor shower peaks on the night of December 13 and early morning hours of December 14.
The Geminids are considered to be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year, with the possibility of sighting around 120 meteors per hour at its peak, which is on December 13 or 14, depending on your time zone. See the table below for details.
A First Quarter Moon will make viewing conditions good for the shooting stars.
Named after Gemini
The Geminid meteor shower can be seen every year between December 4 and December 16, with its peak activity being around December 13-14. The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini because the meteors seem to emerge from this constellation in the sky.
An Asteroid Meteor Shower
Where Are the Geminids Visible?
The Geminids can be observed from locations all around the world.
While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower, astronomers suggest looking towards the south to view the Geminids.
When to View the Geminids
The best time to view the Geminids is at night – after sunset and before sunrise.
What Time Does the Meteor Shower Peak?
The table is updated daily and shows the position of the Geminids radiant in the sky for the upcoming night. Use the date drop down above the animation to change dates.
|Geminids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between December 13 and December 14)|
|Thu 6:00 pm||46°||0.7°|
|Thu 7:00 pm||55°||9.3°|
|Thu 8:00 pm||63°||19.2°|
|Thu 9:00 pm||70°||29.9°|
|Thu 10:00 pm||77°||41.1°|
|Thu 11:00 pm||84°||52.6°|
|Fri 12:00 midnight||93°||64.2°|
|Fri 1:00 am||109°||75.7°|
|Fri 2:00 am||170°||84.0°|
|Fri 3:00 am||246°||77.4°|
|Fri 4:00 am||265°||66.1°|
|Fri 5:00 am||274°||54.4°|
|Fri 6:00 am||282°||42.9°|
|Fri 7:00 am||289°||31.6°|
Direction to see the Geminids in the sky:
- Azimuth is the direction, based on true north; a compass might show a slightly different value.
- Altitude is height in degrees over horizon.
How to See the Geminids
You don't need any special equipment or a lot of skills to view a meteor shower. Even though all you really need is a clear sky, lots of patience, and our handy meteor shower animation with a visibility conditions meter to see a meteor shower, the following tips can help maximize your shooting star viewing experience.
- Find a secluded viewing spot, away from the city lights. Once at the venue, your eyes may take 15 to 20 minutes to get used to the dark.
- Dress for the weather, and make sure you are comfortable, especially if you plan to stay out long. Bring a blanket or a comfortable chair with you—meteor watching can be a waiting game.
- Once you have found your viewing spot, lie down on the ground and look up in the direction of the radiant. Use the meteor shower animation or the table above to find the current direction of the radiant in the sky.