Stargazers enjoyed a celestial fireworks show as the biggest meteor shower of the year over Ireland took place.

The Geminids will see up to 50 times more shooting stars than a normal night, according to Astronomy Ireland.

Geminids occur around this day every year and are caused by Earth passing through a stream of dust particles left by the comet Phaethon.

This dirt is generated by the comet tracking extremely near to the Sun, which scorches its surface and blasts material off it.

The dust pieces, no bigger than a grain of sand, burn up as they smash into the Earth's atmosphere, up to 100 miles about the surface at speeds of up to 100,000mph.

This generates a bright streak or flashes that can appear anywhere in the night sky between dusk and dawn.

Visibility will be better in places where there are no streetlights and between the hours of midnight and 4am.

It is not necessary to have special equipment to see the Geminids as they can been spotted using the naked eye.

The name Geminids comes from the fact that the meteor always points back to the constellation star pattern of Gemini.

"We are asking members of the public to count how many they see every 15 minutes and send in their counts via our website as it is the general public who keep an annual eye on meteor showers and allow us to forecast when the best ones occur," said David Moore from Astronomy Ireland.