Watch Geminid Meteor Shower Peak Live on NASA Livestream

NASA is currently showing a live-stream of the Geminid meteor shower, one of the most active meteor showers of the year.

The Geminids are a shower of debris caused by a huge space rock called 3200 Phaethon. This debris is released as 3200 Phaeton orbits the sun.

Every year in December the Earth passes through some of the bits left behind by this space rock. These bits burn up in our atmosphere to produce the dazzling light displays we see during meteor showers.

This year the Geminid meteor shower is due to be active until December 17, but its peak in activity occurs on the night of December 13 into the morning of December 14.

Unfortunately the meteor shower may not be visible for all. This could be due to light pollution from living in a city or clouds preventing a clear view of the sky.

In addition, the moon is expected to be nearly 80 percent full during the peak of the Geminid shower this week, further adding to potential light pollution.

However, people can still view the shower via a livestream currently being hosted by NASA on its NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page.

Greetings sky watchers! Stay up with us tonight for our live stream of the Geminid meteor shower. We are streaming from Huntsville, Alabama at NASA’s...

For those who are able to see the Geminid meteor shower in person, it is best viewed in the northern hemisphere, though it may also be seen in the southern hemisphere too.

The meteor shower appears to originate from the constellation Gemini in the sky, hence its name. However, they generally can be seen all over the sky.

To observe them, NASA states that one should lie on their back, look up at the sky, and give their eyes some time to get adjusted to the dark—which can take around 30 minutes.

In the northern hemisphere, observers can expect to see around 30 to 40 meteors per hour during the peak of the Geminid shower, NASA states. This will be a fair bit lower in the southern hemisphere.

If a Geminid meteor is spotted streaking across the sky, it could be travelling as fast as 78,000 miles per hour.

The parent space rock of the Geminids, 3200 Phaethon, is something of a mystery. Meteor showers tend to be caused by comets which leave behind trails, but 3200 Phaethon is technically classed as an asteroid, and 5.10 kilometers (3.16 miles) in diameter.

Astronomers are still puzzled by what exactly 3200 Phaethon is, because of the amount of debris it releases, its size, and how it tends to brighten. One theory is that it is a rock comet, another is that it is a dead comet, NASA states.

Person using telescope
A stock photo shows a silhouette of a person using a telescope at night. The Geminid meteor shower can be seen in person or via livestream. Allexxandar/Getty