Here's when, where and how to catch a view of the rare meteor shower soaring over NZ tonight

Here's when, where and how to catch a view of the rare meteor shower soaring over NZ tonight

Will your town get an epic shot of the action?

Aotearoa is set to be a choice spot to watch the super rare meteor shower going down tonight.

If you’re pumped to catch a view, but you aren’t too sure about what’s going on… Here’s what to expect!


On December 12th (tonight), Kiwis can witness the first-ever meteor shower tag-teamed by comet 46P/Wirtanen. It’s set to happen between 8pm and 12:30am.


Meteor showers actually do happen pretty frequently - apparently, there are about 30 a year that can be seen by the human eye - but this one is a real head turner.

Why, you ask? Well, it's all about Aotearoa's lucky spot on the big blue ball, Earth.

If you wanna get all scientific with it, says: “Meteor showers are created when Earth passes through clouds of debris left behind by comets as they move close to the sun.”

And this one is associated with the comet that had a cosmic run-in with Jupiter back in '72.


Guide to the stars, Auckland Stardome astronomer Rob Davison, told Newshub it’s all about the right place right time.

"[Aotearoa is] the perfect place where this is happening just as we are going into the evening," he said. 

So, how do you snag a front-row seat to this celestial show? 

Rob instructs to "get away from light pollution as much as possible." 

In other words, scrap the city lights for the darkness. 

“The darker the sky, the more easily you'll be able to see them, particularly if they're very faint and small one," he added.

Cross your fingers for clear skies if you’re in Northland, Wellington, Wairarapa, Canterbury, Marlborough, and central Otago, because you’ve got the ultimate view.

Oh, and don't forget to rug up with the crew, you might be stargazing for a while.

So, grab a blanket, find a cosy spot away from city lights, and get ready to watch the meteors take over the sky.