Geminids: a beautiful shower of shooting stars to be seen in the sky in December

Published by Graziella de Sortiraparis, Cécile de Sortiraparis · Published on December 29th, 2023 at 11:40 a.m.
A shower of shooting stars will be visible in the French skies before Christmas on the nights of December 4 to 20, 2024, peaking on the 14th. Get ready to admire the beauty of this starry sky!

Less well known than the Lyrides, which pass through our skies in April, or the Perseids, which we observe in August, the Geminids offer us a shower of shooting stars, just as beautiful to behold. This majestic celestial phenomenon should be visible in French skies from December 4 to 20, 2024, with peak activity expected on the night of December 14, to round off the year and get the festive season off on the right foot!

One of the most beautiful shooting star showers of the year, the Geminids will once again pass over the French sky in the first half of December. Known to be particularly luminous, these stars should impress all those lucky enough to observe them. Usually, between 60 and 75 meteors can be seen in the sky every hour. At its peak, this special shower can even bring 120 to 160 meteors in a single hour! To make sure you don't miss them, it's best to look towards the constellation Gemini, above the eastern horizon.

Unlike other shooting star showers, Geminids do not originate from comets. They are created by an asteroid or extinct comet, object 3200 Phaethon. This object, named in honour of the son of Helios, god of the Sun, passes very close to our star: its trajectory is quite different from other celestial objects, contributing a little more to the particular character of these Geminids. Phaethon is not made of ice, but of rock. It's also surrounded by a cloud of particulate dust: it's this dust that ignites and glows as it passes through our atmosphere, creating the well-known phenomenon that continues to fascinate us.

Get ready and stay awake, even if we warn you right away: with the light pollution of cities, at night it would be better to be in the countryside or on high ground to get a good view of the shooting stars. This year, the Moon will be full and winter conditions may well prevent us from seeing these beautiful meteors. We'll keep our fingers crossed all the same!

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From December 4th, 2024 to December 20th, 2024

× Approximate opening times: to confirm opening times, please contact the establishment.
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