Last meteor shower of the year to light up the night sky


TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2021 – The year 2021 will end with a light show as the Geminids meteor shower rains down from the darkness of night, starting Dec. 3.

The peak time to view the display, however, is late Monday, Dec. 13 into the wee hours of Tuesday, Dec. 14. If you’re up at 2 a.m., this is probably the ideal time for a little meteor gazing, especially for people in Canada and the United States.

“The Geminids shower is an annual favourite with meteor colours ranging from white to blue and green. The best viewing spots are those away from ambient light, streets and building lights, for example,” says Assistant Professor Elaina Hyde of York University’s Faculty of Science.

meteors streaking across a night sky

Meteors streaking across a night sky, by Michal Mancewicz

A nearly full moon, called a waxing gibbous moon, may make seeing the meteors more difficult in the first part of the evening, but be patient. It may take 15 or 20 minutes for a stargazer’s eyes to adjust to the darkness, but once they are, there will be plenty of possible meteors to see – between 50 to 150 meteors per hour streaming through the sky.

"The Earth passes through a large cloud of dust and rocks every year left behind by the asteroid (or potential comet) 3200 Phaethon. The small bits of dust and rock reach speeds over 120,000 kilometres per hour and when they encounter the Earth's atmosphere, they burn up leaving behind a long trail of light across the sky,” says Assistant Professor Jesse Rogerson of the Department of Science and Technology Studies in York’s Faculty of Science. “The motion of the Earth makes it appear as if these shooting stars are emanating from the constellation Gemini, though you can see them anywhere across the sky.”

Experts available:

Both Hyde and Rogerson are available to discuss the marvels of the Geminids meteor shower and the best way to see them.


York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.

Media Contact:

Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-272-6317,