The Geminid meteor shower may have started earlier this month, but it is soon expected to reach its peak, and when it does, it could be one of the best shows in years.
And for those looking to catch the incredible sight, this year’s timing could make for even better viewing.
Here’s what to know about the Geminid meteor shower and when you can see it:
When will the Geminid meteor shower peak?
According to NASA, the Geminid meteor shower began earlier this month, and will continue until Christmas Eve.
The peak of this year’s Geminid meteor shower is expected to occur during the early morning hours of Dec. 14, with as many as 120 meteors per hour possible, according to EarthSky.
Why could this year’s shower be even better?
This year’s timing is also great news for stargazers.
That is because the December new moon is set to take place just two days before the meteor shower peaks, meaning that moonlight won’t be able to drown out most of the meteors that will be visible to the naked eye.
What is the Geminid meteor shower?
The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most prolific of the year.
Meteors in this shower tend to radiate from the star Castor, which is located in the Gemini constellation, thus giving the Geminids their name.
What makes this meteor shower special is that most originate from the trails of comets that have made their way through the Solar System, but the Geminids originate from the trail of an asteroid known as 3200 Phatehon, which was discovered in the 1980’s, according to NASA.
Where and when should I look to see the Geminid meteor shower?
Residents who want to see the show are urged to find as dark a spot as possible, then to allow their eyes to adjust for at least 30 minutes. The radiant point of the meteor shower will be at its highest point in the sky at approximately 2 a.m., according to NASA and EarthSky, so you’ll have to stay up a bit later than usual to see the show at its peak.
Even though the radiant point will be overhead, meteors could be visible throughout the sky, according to experts.