WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The annual Geminid Meteor shower has been called one of the best meteor showers to see, but the best hours to see it are in the middle of cold December nights.
According to NASA, this meteor shower is the “most intense meteor shower of the year,” lasting for days, and can be seen from almost anywhere in the world. The week of Dec. 10-16 is the best time to see this meteor shower, with the peak time overnight Dec. 13-14.
You’ll be likely to see at least one or two meteors throughout the night, but your best chance to see large numbers will be between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. when the constellation Gemini is fully above the horizon.
What makes this year’s shower even more spectacular than usual is that there will be no moon to dim any of the meteors on Dec. 13. Without the moon, experts at NASA and Earthsky.org say, people will more likely be able to see the shower. The National Weather Service is also predicting clear skies.
The shower was first observed in 1862, and appears to be coming from the area of the Gemini constellation. On average, watchers see about 80 to 120 meteors an hour.
Your best bet to see them is to get as far away from excess light as you can. NASA will be hosting a livestream and chat during the peak hours of the Geminids.
For those who can get to a dark space, here are some tips for watching the shower:
- Stay warm. The weather forecast for the area says that the low for Thursday night is likely to be in the low 30’s.
- Find Gemini in the sky. According to Earthsky.org you’ll see meteors even if you can’t find the constellation, but you’ll see more if you know where it is.
- Give yourself some time to let your eyes adjust to the darkness.
- Stay away from bright lights. Turn off all the lights around you or go to a park.
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