BBC Sky at Night




BEST TIME TO SEE: Activity between 4–17 December, peak night 13/14 December

Which is the best meteor shower of the year? Most would probably say the August Perseids; with a peak zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) of 110 meteors per hour and occurring under the relatively balmy conditions of summer, what’s not to like? However, this month’s Geminid shower outstrips the Perseids in a number of ways. This may sound like a controversial statement but to explain it we need to look more closely at the often-misused value that is the zenithal hourly rate.

A shower’s ZHR

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