We may still see some of these meteors on neighboring nights, in addition to viewing several lovely pairings of the crescent moon with the planets Jupiter and Mars.
The meteors of the Geminid meteor shower, which hits its peak the night of Wednesday, December 13, into the morning of Thursday, December 14, could be particularly bright this year.
Geminids are the slowpokes of the meteor world.
The Geminds are named for the Gemini constellation in the northeastern nigh sky, from which they appear to emanate.
The Geminids are usually one of the best meteor showers of the year.
Last year, the normally brilliant Geminids were outshone by a supermoon.
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But, as always, the best recommendation is to get somewhere truly dark if you can.On Wednesday night, head to an open space without anything blocking your view of the sky, and look up. Peak to 2am. After 2 weeks - Dec 14 - it will be possible to capture the connection of the thin Crescent moon with Jupiter.
The Geminids stand apart from these other events, though.
Observe the Geminids next Wednesday evening, December 13 and Thursday morning, December 14.
The past year that there were similarly favorable conditions for the Geminids I saw 68 of them in my best hour, along with about 14 meteors from other directions. But some of them will be bright meteors, maybe a few brighter than any star or planet, or even as bright as the moon.
The shower is active for a two week period from December 4 to December 17 and with the Moon already set, stargazers can see anywhere from 70 to 120 meteors per hour. Geminids come in all colors, sometimes have boisterous flaring, bursting flights, and sometimes leave lingering, luminous trails.
The Geminids radiate from Gemini the Twins which will be overhead at 1:30 a.m. The meteors will be going to all parts of the sky. By 9 or 10 p.m. the numbers could be up to four dozen or more per hour.