Geminid meteor shower

The Geminid meteor shower is for many the highlight of the 2014 meteor shower calendar, starting back on 7 December it runs until the 16 December.

The peak of the Geminid meteor shower takes place this weekend (13-14 December), when you could see more than 50 meteors per hour. The Geminids is different to other meteor showers as its meteors originate from an asteroid, as opposed to a comet, meaning they are very rocky and gritty, making them slightly easier to see than other meteor showers.

The weather forecast for the UK as a whole for this weekend looks like;

Friday night (12 December) is mostly dry with mainly clear skys with patchy cloud for England and Wales leading to a cold frosty night with some icy stretches. Showers continue affecting the north and the west areas, with these being wintry in the north.

Saturday night (13 December) is again a cold night with some clear spells and patchy cloud for the southern half of the UK. Showers affecting Scotland will spread into northern England and Wales through out the night.

Sunday night (14 December) starts cloudy with showers or rain for many places but the cloud breaks up and becomes more patchy later in the night.

For star gazing tips check out our guide to watching the Geminid meteor shower, and to find out when other meteor events are taking place visit the Meteorwatch website.

To see the meteor shower, you don’t need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment but you do need to find a spot away from bright lights such as street lights. Check out the forecast in your area to see how good your view will be.

The UK  has a number of Dark Sky Parks such as the Northumberland National Park, which is the northernmost national park in England and was designated a Dark Sky Park in December 2013, by the International Dark-Sky Association.  Tonight in Northumberland National Park should be clear but very cold, Saturday night is cloudy and Sunday night is cloudy with the risk of wintery showers.

Exmoor National park is also a Dark Sky Reserve.  Tonight any patchy cloud should clear in Exmoor National Park leaving a clear sky, however Saturday and Sunday night are looking much more cloudy.


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