Geminid meteor shower takes centre stage

Get out your warm coats and keen eyes. The Geminid meteor shower is ready to put on a show for those of us willing to brave some cold December nights, and the dark skies of cottage country provide the perfect backdrop.

The meteor shower, which begins on December 11th and tapers off by the 16th, promises to be a good one, with 100 to 150 meteors each hour at its peak. Even better, because the Geminid shower is made up of the remnants of an asteroid (most meteor showers are pieces of comets), each shooting star moves slower and lasts longer than the ones we see in other meteor showers, such as Persieds.

That means that when someone shouts, “Hey, did you see that one?” you might actually be able to turn your head fast enough to catch it!

But that’s not the only treat star seekers are in for: The night of the new moon makes for a particularly dark sky, and just happens to coincide with the showers’ peak on December 13th. If you plan to catch it, the best viewing hours are from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

For a list of astronomical observatories, dark sky reserves, and parks in cottage country, check out “Where to see the stars in cottage country.”