Geminid Meteor Shower To Be Especially Visible Overnight

Night sky

The celestial event will stand out by the absence of bright moonlight, as the moon will be a waning crescent and barely visible. Clear skies will prevail through Thursday morning with temperatures falling into the upper 30s after midnight.

Some news outlets are reporting this year could be the best shower to-date.

If you do want to try to see the Geminids from a city, get into a park or even try to use buildings to block our artificial light that could ruin your night vision, Cooke said in 2015.

Every December, as Earth passes through a debris-filled trail left by the 3200 Phaethon asteroid, we puny humans can get a glimpse of the burning debris, dust, and rocks that is the annual Geminid meteor shower.

Hundreds of bright meteors will illuminate the night sky as they burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

Phaethon

"Phaethon's nature is debated", Cooke added. This year, the asteroid will be closest to Earth the night of Saturday, Dec. 16, when it zips by at a distance of about 6.4 million miles (10.3 million kilometers), which is almost 30 times farther away from Earth as the moon is.

This is because the constellation of Gemini - where the meteors appear to originate from - is quite close to the equator.

But if you are a constellation aficionado, don't focus mainly on the Gemini constellation.

After today's snowstorm ends, several parts of MI should have clear skies overnight when the Geminids peak, from about midnight to 4 a.m. Observers will see fewer Geminids in the Southern Hemisphere, where the radiant doesn't climb very high over the horizon. The sky should be clear enough Wednesday night that meteors will be visible before then. In addition, you should give your eyes about 20 - 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Meteors appear all over the sky.

The Geminids meteor shower will hurdle across earth illuminating the night sky early on Thursday, December 14. When you see a meteor, trace it backward. NASA will also stream the show beginning at 8 p.m. central time.

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