Gemini meteor
A meteor shower lights up the sky over the Mexican volcano Popocatepetl near the village San Nicolas de los Ranchos in Mexican state of Puebla in the early hours of December 14, 2004. The shower, named Geminid because it appears to originate from the constellation Gemini, lit up the sky with dozens of shooting stars per hour. Reuters

The Geminid meteor shower would peak today, December 14 with at least one meteorite every minute passing across the night sky. The best time to view the meteor shower would be from midnight till morning 4 am, as its radiance would be high in the sky.

You can watch the meteorite shower online as NASA has arranged live broadcast of shooting stars on its online website NASA tv.

The Geminids meteor shower has been caused by the 3200 Phaethon asteroid which had made a narrow pass by near the earth on December 10. The burned up dust and grit of the asteroid results in the massive meteor shower of the year.

The Phaethon's very nature has been debated by the scientists as it has properties of an asteroid and that of an extinct comet known as rock comet.

The meteor shower could be seen originating from the Geminid constellation even though they are visible anywhere in the sky. Also, remember that all shooting stars visible in the sky should not necessarily be Geminids. Astronomers have stated that other active meteor showers like Monocerotids, Sigma Hydrids, and the Comae Barenicids could be seen in the sky.

Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office said, "When you see a meteor, try to trace it backwards. If you end up in the constellation Gemini, there's a good chance you've seen a Geminid."

The bright and intensely colored meteor will move slower than average from the Gemini constellation.

For a direct view of the meteor shower, find a dark calm place away from the lights of the cities, especially in villages. Don't forget to take a telescope with you for a better view.