(KTEN) – Calling all stargazers- the Geminid meteor shower officially begins this Saturday! While peak viewing occurs on December 13 and 14, the Geminids can be viewed from December 4 through December 17. 

The Geminids are among the best meteor showers of the year. Under ideal conditions, anywhere from 20 to 30 meteors an hour can be visible. During the shower’s peak, up to 120 meteors can be visible per hour. 

The Geminid meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through a trail of debris in space that was left by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The asteroid measures 5.10 km in diameter which means its size contributes to the large amounts of debris. It is also one of the reasons so many meteors can be seen during the shower’s peak.  

Since the Geminids originate from an asteroid, this makes them even more unique. They’re the only shower to originate from an asteroid instead of a comet. 

This year, a nearly full moon will hang around most of the night which will wash out fainter meteors. However, there should still be plenty of meteors to view even with the 77 percent full moon. 

Viewing the meteor shower

The meteor shower can be viewed starting at 9 p.m. but the best viewing time is around 2 a.m. This is because the shower’s radiant point is highest around 2 AM and the higher the constellation Gemini the Twins, the more meteors you’re likely to see. 

Geminid meteors tend to be bold, white, and quick so be sure to keep your eyes to the sky! 

The meteors are often interspersed so several will be able to be seen at once.