The best meteor shower of the year happens tonight

15 December, 2017, 06:39 | Author: Eleanor Thompson
  • Geminid meteor shower

The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, which is in between the constellations Taurus and Cancer.

The Geminid meteor shower is associated with the near-Earth object 3200 Phaethon, which is an asteroid.

One of this year's best meteor shower display, the Geminids, will be on full display tonight through early Thursday morning. This year's show might be particularly spectacular, because the waning crescent moon won't spoil the show.

Visible all around the world, the Geminids will peak between 7:30 p.m. this evening and dawn on Thursday morning no matter where you are.

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Stargazers will be treated to a great view of the Geminid meteor shower late Wednesday night. If this orbit intersects with Earth's orbit, this debris catches fire, "leaving a streak of light we call a meteor or shooting star", according to Cooke. Yes, it might be cold where you live, but meteor showers are worth a little shivering. The farther away from light pollution you are, the better the show will be.

You don't need any special equipment to see the shower, but you do need a fair bit of patience.

If you are in the the heart of a city, don't expect to see more than a few meteors tonight, but if you're lucky, some bright shooting stars should break through and give you a show. The Geminids feature broad activity and will be visible across any parts of the night sky.

Meteor showers don't require binoculars or telescopes to view - just your eyes.

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So gather up all your family, friends and neighbors and get ready to see one of the brightest and best meteor showers of your life!

But if you can't see, don't worry.

Astronomers first observed the weak meteor shower in the mid 1880, but the Gemini's have since been gradually intensifying every year.

What you do need is your naked eye, your wrapped up body, something to site on, and a quite dark outdoor space to watch.

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NASA will be streaming the shower from its Marshall Space Flight Center beginning at sunset from Huntsville, Alabama.

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