Flawless conditions ahead for Geminid meteor shower, pairings of moon, planets

The annual Geminid meteor shower in northern Italy

At its peak, up to 120 meteors per hour could be visible according to Time and Date, which makes the Geminids one of the most spectacular meteor showers each year.

The Geminids is the result of the Earth passing through the debris of the Phaethon 3200 asteroid and is hailed as one of the most reliable and vivid meteor showers to spectate.

The Geminids emanate from the constellation Gemini, and while the meteors will seem to be coming from Gemini, they can still appear all over the sky. Wednesday evening to Thursday dawn is where it's at. As with most meteor showers, the best viewing is from a dark location after midnight. This point or "radiant" is in the constellation for which the shower is named.

A meteor shower is not just an increased number of meteors, however.

"The Geminids is always a visual treat to experience and document, and this year I wanted to bring that experience to more people through my workshop", Mr Magro said.

The phase of the moon can greatly affect how well a meteor shower can be seen, with the brightness of a full moon making it hard to discern some of the fainter streaks. Earth's encounter with the central section of the meteoroid swarm falls at around 1am on 14 December.

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Now that this year's supermoon is behind us, we are eagerly expecting one of the most spectacular meteor showers of this year, the Geminid meteor shower, which will peak during the night of December 13 and early morning of December 14. You'll be able to see meteors anywhere you look, but concentrating your attention on that constellation means you'll see more of them.

The a year ago 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.

Best viewing should be about 2 a.m., and this might be a good year to get away from city lights and out into the countryside.

The stars - or at least the Moon - will align this month for a terrific display of meteors.

The Geminids radiate from Gemini the Twins which will be overhead at 1:30 a.m. From 11 p.m.to 4 a.m. Geminid rates of 60 or more would be possible if skies are quite clear.

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