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Starstruck Geminid meteor shower will continue to dazzle Irish skies this week

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A shooting star can be seen during the Geminid meteor stream in the starry sky above the Kochelsee and the summit of the Herzogstand early Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)

A shooting star can be seen during the Geminid meteor stream in the starry sky above the Kochelsee and the summit of the Herzogstand early Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)

A shooting star can be seen during the Geminid meteor stream in the starry sky above the Kochelsee and the summit of the Herzogstand early Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)

The Geminid meteor shower that was visible across some Irish skies over the weekend is expected to continue for the rest of this week. 

There were as many as 20 times more shooting stars shooting across the sky than normal last night as the spectacle reaches its peak.

Although those in rural areas with very dark skies had some of the best views, some city viewers were also able to see plenty of cosmic action.

Astronomy Ireland is also asking for the public to help in reporting what they see during the meteor shower.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

They are asked to fill in a report, counting how many shooting stars they see on the night and email it to their website for publication in the Astronomy Ireland magazine.

Anyone who missed the event may still have a chance even though the peak has passed, as showers are expected to continue shooting through the skies until December 17.

The Geminids originate from a rocky asteroid called 3200 Phaethon which has a comet-like orbit. They were first observed in 1862.

The meteors, small pieces of interplanetary debris, appear to radiate from near the bright star Castor in the constellation Gemini.

Friction with the upper atmosphere heats up the incoming debris, causing the air around them to glow brightly.

This leads to streaks of light that are also known as shooting stars.

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