You may have already seen some shooting stars across the sky the past few nights. This is anticipated to be the best meteor shower of the year. Even with the favorable weather conditions, you still want to be far enough away from city lights to maximize your viewing potential.
Geminid meteors are bright and fast (79,000 mph), and the shower is famous for producing fireballs, which are meteors brighter than magnitude -4, the same magnitude as the planet Venus. "The thin, waning crescent moon won't spoil the show".
The flawless time to view this shower will be between 7:30 PM on December 13th until the early morning of December 14th. The peak viewing time will be around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, but you can still see meteors earlier or after that time. Find a field or somewhere with an open view of a cloud-free sky where you can lie down and look up for hours on end.
Unlike most other meteor showers, which are caused by the debris of comets that have passed through the solar system, the Geminids are caused by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which is also sometimes referred to as a rock comet.
Geminids meteor shower: What to expect near Evansville
The Geminid Shower, named after the constellation closest to its appearance, will be visible anytime between December 13 and December 14.
The asteroid orbits the sun every 1.4 years. The Geminids were first observed in 1833 along the Mississippi River. The Geminids originate from the comet 3200 Phaethon, which is expected to pass by notably close to Earth this year.
The best way to view tonight's shower is with the human eye so there is no need to use binoculars or a telescope. We are tracking a clipper to zip by the Bluegrass.
Turn your eyes to the night sky!
Unlike eclipses, which last only a short time, you can see meteors on any clear night several days before and after the peak.
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