Stargazers will have the chance to view a shooting star display during the annual Geminid meteor shower which is expected to light up the skies of Dorset this week.

The Geminid shower is a fast and bright meteor that is usually seen in December and is expected to peak today (December 13). 

Best seen in clear weather conditions, here's everything you need to know about the Geminid meteor shower and whether you will be able to see it in Dorset.

How to see the Geminid meteor shower

The meteor shower can be seen with the naked eye, but it is best not to look directly at the radiant as this can limit the number of meteors you can see.

Instead, people should look just to the side in a dark area of the sky for a better chance of seeing the display.

Bournemouth Echo:

Met Office Dorset weather forecast for Geminid shower

Unfortunately the clear skies offering the best views of the meteorite shower aren't on the horizon for the Dorset area.

Today will be a mainly cloudy and mild day with gentle breezes inland, and moderate along coasts. Maximum temperatures should reach around 13 °C.

Looking forward for the rest of the week until Thursday, it is a similar picture.

It looks set to be mild and largely cloudy. Generally dry but the cloud could be thick enough in places to produce some patchy drizzle.

There is also a risk of morning fog developing under any cloud breaks.

What is the Geminid meteor shower?

Meteors are pieces of debris that enter Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of up to 70km per second, vaporising and causing the streaks of light we call meteors.

Geminids are very bright, moderately fast, and are unusual in being multi-coloured.

They are mainly white; however some are yellow and a few are green, red and blue.

The shower is known to produce more than 100 meteors an hour at its peak, although light pollution and other factors mean that in reality the actual number visible is far fewer.

The source of the shooting stars is a stream of debris left behind by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, making this one of the only major showers not to originate from a comet.