Geminid meteor shower would be impressive … if we could see it

If the clouds break, shooting stars could be visible in the early night sky

The Geminid meteor shower is set to peak tonight and continue over the next few days. The best chances for viewing appear to be in northern Jutland where the shower will peak at about 7pm this evening, according to weather service DMI.

Under optimal conditions, there could be up to 120 shooting stars per hour. But since tonight’s conditions are far from optimal, that number could be much lower.

“In Denmark, it is possible to see 70 shooting stars per hour under the best of conditions on the islands and in Jutland,” amateur astronomer Tom Axelsen told DR Nyheder. “In metropolitan areas, light pollution reduces that number down to between eight and 14 stars per hour.”

Look south
The Geminids  fall each year in mid-December. They occur when the Earth passes through the track of the 3200 Phaeton asteroid.

“There are a handful of meteor showers every year,” said DTU astrophysicist Kristoffer Leer.

The best advice for tonight is to look to the south just after sunset.

“Look out for the Gemini constellation, which are two bright stars,” said Leer. “That’s where the activity will take place.”

The Geminids are active in the period from December 7-17.