This photo of the Geminid meteor shower is actually a composite of many exposures from the same shower in China in 2012. This year, a crescent moon will leave a relatively dark sky for the shower to populate with light.
What is usually the strongest meteor shower of the year will peak in the night sky between December 13 and 14, but if you want a better chance of seeing the show you probably should not wait for the peak viewing time. The shower will remain overnight December 13-14 with rates approximately one per minute under suitable circumstances, according to Cooke.
Chester notes that the intensity of the shower has been slowly growing since it first was described in the 1860s.
The best meteor shower of the year is here.
Highlights of this winter's sky include the Geminids meteor shower peaking this week, the constellation of Orion becoming notable in the evening sky, and many planets being visible before sunrise in February.
Winter weather advisory issued
A more substantial chance of snow is in Wednesday's forecast, with a 50 percent chance of some white stuff. The Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwest, however, will see less precipitation than normal.
"Which would you rather do, to be honest?"
The observatory at the Telus World of Science will be open for people wishing to view the Geminid shower on Wednesday and Thursday from 7 p.m.to 10 p.m., weather permitting.
Known as 3200 Phaethon, the three-mile-wide object was discovered in 1983 by two British scientists examining Nasa satellite images and initially classified as an asteroid.
New Jersey Herald astronomy columnist Warren Westura lists 14 meteor showers this month in addition to the Geminids.
"If the Earth, in its yearly motion around the Sun happens to pass through such a trail of debris of dust particles, the small dust particles enter the Earth's atmosphere with considerable speed". Avoid as many lights as possible, find a safe spot to lay down on a blanket, and look toward the darkest part of the sky. Some might be random background meteors, and some might be from weaker, active showers like the Monocerotids, Sigma Hydrids and the Comae Berenicids. That means they won't leave you saying, "Did I just see a meteor?" The best view of the shower can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere.
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