14 Dec 2012

Shooting stars to light up the night sky

8:00 pm on 14 December 2012

Stargazers will be able to enjoy watching the Geminid meteor shower over the next few days.

Astronomer Grant Christie, from the Stardome Observatory in Auckland, says every year in mid-December debris from an asteroid hits the Earth's atmosphere and turns into meteors or shooting stars.

Mr Christie says about one shooting star per minute will be visible between 1am and 2am looking north to the constellation of Gemini, until Monday.

The meteors are travelling about 35km per second and burning up about 100km above the Earth's surface, he says.