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Geminid Meteor Shower: How To Watch The Night Sky Spectacle At Its Peak

First Posted: Dec 02, 2016 02:35 AM EST
Geminid Meteor Shower
The annual Geminid shower will be on its peak on Dec. 12 to Dec. 15.
(Photo : Kenneth Brandon - Dark Sky Chaser/Youtube Screenshot)

The month of December is bringing a series of night sky spectacles. These would be starting off with the Geminid meteor shower in the middle of the month.

Mirror UK reports that the Geminid meteor shower, which usually occurs during the last month of every year, is set to peak from Dec. 12 to Dec. 15 at around 2:00 a.m. The shower, which will be made up by debris from the 3200 Paethon asteroid when it crosses close to the Sun, will display about 100 meteors per hour.

This is exciting for stargazers and meteor shower lovers since the Geminid meteor shower just gets more intense every year. In fact, people could even expect about 120 to 160 meteors per hour on optimal conditions.

People are advised to find a place away from light pollution to witness the shower at its best. However, a supermoon will occur on Dec. 14, which means that the meteors may appear obscure. Nevertheless, people could still have the chance to see the showers at their brightest on other nights when the weather permits.

The good news is that, stargazers would not need any special equipment to be able to see the shower. All they need is a dark, open sky and a sleeping bag or anything that would keep them warm.

According to Earth Sky, the Geminid meteor shower is named after its radiant point -- the Gemini constellation -- where it radiates from when people look at its traces backward. This does not mean that people need to find the "Twin" constellation to see the spectacle, though. These medium-speed meteors could appear in different directions and across different constellations whichever part of the globe people are.

The next shower will be the annual Ursid meteor shower, which is set to peak on the night of Dec. 22 to the morning of Dec. 23.

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