Let your eyes adjust, grab the popcorn, and put on extra layers to take in the Geminid meteor shower overnight. Friday morning will be the best window to take in this annual tradition. You may need to set the alarm clock though, because 2 a.m. local time is the best window to take in the meteors, astronomers say. Astronomers describe the meteors within the Geminid shower to be “bold, white and quick.”
The cause of the meteor shower is a rock comet called ‘3200 Phaethon.’ The so-called 3200 Phaethon crashes into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at an estimated 80,000 miles per hour! It is then that the particles vaporize into colorful Geminid meteors. These meteors will be burning up about 60 miles above us. This phenomenon occurs when Earth passes through the tail of a comet. Those small particles of debris often lead to the brilliant ‘shooting stars’ across our night sky. You may be able to see between 50-120 meteors per hour at its peak!
Tips for best viewing:
- Get away from city lights and light pollution
- Allow 20-30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness
- Go with a buddy to stay safe!
- Dress warmly in this cold season
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier