Geminids Meteor Shower: the best places to watch from the United Kingdom tonight

Geminid Meteor Shower 2018 Google Doodle Marks The Sky Light Show Through Slideshow Best Time to See Meteor Shower

To mark this astronomical event, Google has put out a Doodle that will track the shooting stars during the Gemini meteor shower.

And while most other meteor showers are best seen during the late night or early morning hours, the geminids should be visible throughout the night and in the nights leading up to and following the peak, according to AccuWeather.

The 3200 Phaethon may have collided with another object in the distant past, which produced the stream of particles that hurdle across earth's atmosphere and created a meteor shower.

"The Geminids are often superior to August's Perseid meteor shower", said Dr. Alex Filippenko, astrophysicist and astronomy professor at UC Berkeley.

You don't need any special equipment to watch the meteor shower - the naked eye is the best instrument to use. The meteors will appear all over the sky. The Geminids are also believed to be intensifying every year, with around 100 meteors expected per hour.

Heading out to see the Geminid meteor shower?

Here's a glimpse of what the skies have in store for you just past dusk today.

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Karen O'Connor, from Gelorup business The Mobile Observatory, said the shower was the biggest and brightest meteor shower observable in both hemispheres, with 120 to 160 meteors per hour at its peak. Some astronomers refer to 3200 Phaethon as a "rock comet", essentially an asteroid that gets very close to the sun, resulting in a scorched trail of debris that might lead to meteor showers on Earth.

The meteors in this shower appear to come from a radiant in the constellation Gemini (hence the shower's name). They are however not one comet, but the fragments of an unusual asteroid called Phaethon 3200, named after the Greek god Apollo's son.

The ideal time to train your eyes skyward would be past midnight tonight i.e. 12 am and until 2 am on Friday night.

How can we see and what is the best time to view?

You'll see the most meteors if you lean back and look at as much of the sky as possible; don't be tempted to use a telescope or binoculars, because they'll restrict your field of view.

Where to watch Geminid Meteor Shower? A large field is ideal because you can then let your eyes roam across the whole sky.

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