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The Geminid meteor shower reaches its dazzling peak on the night of 14 December but is active throughout the first half of the month.
Read on for tips on how to catch the best view of this stunning shower from planetary science researcher and meteorite expert Dr Ashley King.
Meteors are often called shooting stars, though the bright streaks you see in the sky don't have anything to do with stars.
In fact, what you're wishing on are tiny particles of dust - leftovers from the birth of our solar system - vaporising in Earth's atmosphere.
Some of the more spectacular of these meteors can sometimes be visible from city centres, including in London, however you're bound to get the best experience away from the light pollution in urban areas.
'The darker the skies, the better your chances of seeing the really faint meteors as well,' says Ashley. 'You could go to the coast or stand on a hill in the middle of the countryside somewhere.'
You also need to be patient.
'You might not be able to see anything for the first 10 minutes while your eyes adjust,' he adds.
'Once you get used to the low light levels you'll begin to notice more and more. So don't give up too quickly.'
If you can't escape the lights of the city, or the weather is against you on the night, watch the meteor shower live online with the UK Meteor Network.
Meteor showers occur when Earth passes through a stream of tiny pieces of debris - meteoroids - left behind by a comet.
Most comets are composed of dust and ice, which Ashley likens to 'a big, dirty snowball.'
'As comets orbit the Sun, the ice sublimes [changes from a solid to a gas] and the trapped dust is swept out into a tail behind them.'
Nearly all meteors are tiny dust particles, about the size of a grain of sand travelling at tens of kilometres per second through space.
'As they come out of the vacuum of space and into Earth's atmosphere, that little dust grain interacts with all the particles and ions in the atmosphere. It gets heated up by the friction and forms the impressive flash that we see,' he says.
'The Earth isn't close to the comet - it's just passing through some of the dust it left behind.'
At other times of year, you may still see meteors in the sky, but only about one every 10 minutes. These sporadic meteors, as they are known, will come from random directions.
One of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year, the Geminids take place from about 4-20 December as the Earth in its orbit passes through the trail of dust left by the 'rock comet' 3200 Phaethon.
At the shower's peak from evening onwards on 14 December, stargazers willing to brave the cold could be rewarded with a display of more than 100 multicoloured meteors per hour.
It is often one of the best showers of the year for viewers in the northern hemisphere, as it is one of the most active. With a new Moon occurring on 12 December, viewing conditions for this year's peak are favourable.
Geminids get their name because meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini.
Discovered by satellite in 1983, Phaethon is one of only a few asteroids associated with a meteor shower. It has an orbital period of 524 days and travels even closer to the Sun than Mercury does.
According to Ashley, there is quite a lot of debate about what Phaethon really is.
'Like other comets, Phaethon has an elliptical orbit but is unusual as it doesn't go to the outer solar system. It has been officially classified as a B-type asteroid, but it has also been suggested that it could be a "rock comet" or a "dead comet".'
Phaethon is considered a potentially hazardous asteroid, meaning it could impact the Earth at some point hundreds of years in the future. For this reason it is very well studied and there are plans to send space missions there in the future, with the DESTINY+ mission currently due to launch in 2024.
Phaethon may be similar to the asteroid Ryugu, from which the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Hayabusa2 mission returned samples in December 2020, and Bennu, an asteroid visited by NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission which returned to Earth with samples in September 2023. Our scientists have been leading some of the first analyses of the Bennu samples.
The Quadrantid meteor shower takes place from late December into early January and is best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. It's thought to occur when Earth passes through the trail left by the asteroid 2003 EH1.
This meteor shower has a much shorter peak than many others, lasting for just six hours before its intensity rapidly drops off. In 2023, the Quadrantids peaked in the early hours of 4 January.
At its peak, and in ideal viewing conditions, around 110 meteors and bright fireballs can be seen per hour, with the particles entering Earth's atmosphere at around 40 kilometres per second.
The Quadrantids appear to radiate from an area near the Big Dipper between the constellations of Boötes and Draco. This area was previously recognised as a separate constellation, which was named Quadrans Muralis by French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795. In 1922, the decision was made to no longer recognise Quadrans Muralis as an official constellation, but the meteor shower still continues to be named after it.
In March 2003, a small near-Earth asteroid was discovered and named as 2003 EH1. This body completes an orbit of the Sun once every 5.5 years and is thought to be the source of the Quadrantid meteor shower.
Some think that 2003 EH1 might be an extinct comet. This is a comet that has expelled most of its ice and so appears more like an asteroid, as it no longer has enough material to form a tail or coma - the ice and dust envelope that forms around a comet's solid centre.
The Lyrid meteor shower takes place between 14-30 April as the Earth in orbit passes through the dust trail left behind (hundreds of years ago) by comet C/186 G1 (Thatcher).
This year, at the peak of the display during the early hours of 23 April, around 20 meteors per hour were expected to be visible.
The most spectacular are 'Lyrid fireballs', which occur when meteoroids the size of a large marble pass through the atmosphere. Their slightly larger size produces a meteor train which we see as a flash and line across the night sky.
Viewing conditions for the Lyrids are favourable this year, with a new Moon occurring on 20 April, just days ahead of the shower's peak.
The Lyrid meteor shower gets its name because it appears to radiate from the area of the sky near the constellation Lyra, the Harp - but the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky.
Comet Thatcher, responsible for the Lyrid meteor shower, takes 415 years to complete a full orbit of the Sun.
We have no photographs because the last time it visited the inner solar system was in 1861 - well before the widespread use of photography.
Usually one of the best celestial events of the year to watch, the Perseid meteor shower takes place from 17 July to 24 August as Earth passes through the trail left behind by the very large comet Swift-Tuttle.
Most meteors are pieces of dust around the size of a grain of sand. Larger pieces can create spectacular fireballs and make bright trails across the sky.
The Perseid shower this year is expected to feature around 100 meteors per hour at its peak, including bright streaks and fireballs. The best views were from a dark location, on the night of 12 August and before dawn on 13 August.
Viewing conditions for the peak of the Perseids are favourable this year, with a new Moon occurring on 16 August.
Perseids get their name because they appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, but they can appear anywhere in the sky.
Swift-Tuttle, responsible for the Perseid meteor shower, takes 133 years to complete a full orbit of the Sun.
At 26 kilometres wide it is the largest solar system object to regularly pass so close to Earth.
Swift-Tuttle's elongated orbit means that debris enters the Earth's atmosphere at great speed.
The Orionid meteor shower takes place from 2 October to 7 November as Earth passes through the trail of Halley's Comet, one of the most famous comets of all time. In 2023, the shower was due to peak in the early hours of 22 October.
Orionids are some of the fastest and brightest meteors, entering the atmosphere at just under 70 kilometres per second.
Orionids get their name because they seem to radiate from the constellation Orion, but they can appear anywhere in the sky.
Stargazers can usually expect to see up to 25 meteors per hour.
Halley's Comet is a short-period comet, meaning it takes less than 200 years to go around the Sun. Its orbital period is 75-76 years and it last passed close to Earth in 1986. It will be back again in 2061.
In 1986 space agencies sent missions (Vega, Giotto, Sakigake and Suisei) to Halley (the 'Halley Armada'), so it's one of the best-studied comets.
Halley's Comet has been observed for centuries - in 1066 it was considered an omen of doom. It even appears on the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts events leading up to the Norman conquest of England in the eleventh century.
The Leonid meteor shower takes place annually between 6-30 November as Earth crosses the trail of comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle.
Entering the atmosphere at 70 kilometres per second, the Leonids are some of the fastest-moving and brightest meteors. The shower promises around 10 meteors per hour at its peak between midnight and dawn on 18 November.
Leonids get their name because they seem to radiate from the constellation Leo.
Comet Tempel-Tuttle is a short-period comet, taking 33 years to go around the Sun. Its last visit was in 1998 with a return expected in 2031. The comet is quite small, only about three kilometres across.
The comet is named for the two astronomers, Ernst Tempel and Horace Tuttle, who each independently discovered it in 1865 and 1866 respectively.