In 2014, the Geminids will peak between December 13 and 14 in 2014. A 3rd quarter Moon may make it too bright for observers to view the shower.
Northern Hemisphere observers should try their luck right after dark, while those in the Southern Hemisphere should try to catch the shower after midnight.
The Geminids can be annually observed between December 4 and December 17, with its peak activity being around December 14. The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini from where the meteors seem to emerge from in the sky.
Unlike most other meteor showers, the Geminids are associated not with a comet but with an asteroid – the 3200 Phaethon. The asteroid takes about 1.4 years to orbit around the Sun.
The Geminids are considered to be one of the more spectacular meteor shower during a year, with the possibility of sighting around 120 meteors per hour at its peak.
While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower – just lay down on the ground and look directly above and you are bound to see some meteors – astronomers suggest looking towards the south to view the Geminids. As a general rule, the Geminid meteor shower intensifies after midnight and produces the greatest number of meteors for a few hours, centered around 2 a.m. That’s true no matter where you are around the globe, and it’s true whether the moon is up or not.
Give your eyes at least 20 minutes time to adapt to the dark. Often, meteors come in spurts and are interspersed by lulls. So give yourself at least an hour to watch the Geminids.
You don’t need special equipment – only a dark, open sky. Simply look upward and enjoy the company of family and friends.