Skygazers could be in luck on Monday and in the early hours of Tuesday, December 14 as the Geminid meteor shower is set to light up the skies.

The display returns every December, and this year is set to peak during the night of Monday, December 13 and the early morning of December 14.

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. This is partly caused by the presence of metals like sodium and calcium. These are the same elements used to make fireworks colourful.

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.

Redhill And Reigate Life: Geminid meteor shower (PA)Geminid meteor shower (PA)

How to see the Geminid meteor shower

There is no need to use binoculars or a telescope, it can be viewed with the naked eye. However, it is best not to look directly at the radiant as this can limit the number of meteors people can see.

It is best not to look directly at the radiant as this can limit the number of meteors people 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.

Met Office UK weather forecast for Geminid shower

The Met Office forecast for skygazers hoping to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon is unsettled.

For Monday night it says there will be: “Very strong winds at first in far north otherwise winds easing for most with blustery showers in the northwest. Some rain Wales and central England becoming heavier later.”

For Tuesday onwards it describes the weather as “unsettled”, with persistent rain in the northwest and elsewhere rain and cloud “at times”.

Visit the Met Office for your local forecast.

For the best chance at seeing the Geminid meteor shower it is advisable to go somewhere clear with as little light pollution as possible.