Geminids Over Charleston: Your Guide to the Meteor Shower of the Year


The Geminids meteor shower, one of the year’s most spectacular celestial events, is currently lighting up our skies and will continue to do so until December 24, with a peak viewing opportunity on December 14, according to a report by NASA.

Best Viewing Spots and Times in the Holy City:

For the best view of the Geminids, you’ll want to find a location away from city lights. Ideal spots might include local parks, beach areas, or just outside the city where light pollution is minimal. Plan to start your stargazing around 9 or 10 pm and give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the dark. In optimal conditions, you may see up to 120 meteors per hour, a significant increase from the Leonids’ 15 meteors per hour.

The Unique Characteristics of the Geminids:

This meteor shower is unusual because it originates from 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid, rather than a comet. First recorded in the mid-1800s, the Geminids have intensified over the years, now offering a dazzling display of bright, fast, and often yellow meteors streaking across the sky at 22 miles per second.

Understanding the Phenomenon:

As you watch, remember that meteors, or shooting stars, are essentially space rocks entering Earth’s atmosphere. They heat up, creating a visible streak of glowing, hot air. The Geminids are particularly known for their stunning display.

Don’t miss this amazing celestial event, a highlight for Charleston’s night sky enthusiasts!