Geminid Meteor Shower to be active tonight

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15 December, 2017

"There are meteor showers, but they are not always great", said Kristen Marshall Mattson of Night Skies Over Beaufort County.

One of this year's best meteor shower display, the Geminids, will be on full display tonight through early Thursday morning.

The show should peak around 2 a.m., though the Gemini constellation is rising in local skies around 7:30 p.m.in the east-northeast, Sabin said.

But on December 13th, there will be one of the biggest light shows of all, right in the sky: the Geminid meteor shower.

The Geminid meteor shower is seen while the moon rises late on December 13, 2014 above Skopje, Macedonia.

During the peak, meteors should be seen crossing the sky about once per minute. This shower is predicted to be at its maximum at around 2 am on 14 December, when the Gemini constellation will be nearly overhead, and the number of meteors can reach up to 120 per hour.

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Geminids are created by tiny fragments that break off the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The asteroid is the 32000 Phaethon, and having this phenomenon over comets results in dust grains that burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere, NASA claims.

It is named after Gemini, because the shooting stars appear to "radiate" from the constellation's bright stars Castor and Pollux.

You'll be able to see the Geminids anywhere in the sky from dusk until dawn but the rates will be higher from midnight.

The Thursday livestream is the second in a dual set of broadcasts of the intense meteor shower. The Geminids feature broad activity and will be visible across any parts of the night sky. Don't forget to take a telescope with you for a better view.

The best way to view tonight's shower is with the human eye so there is no need to use binoculars or a telescope.

The ideal time to view this shower will be between 7:30 PM on December 13th until the early morning of December 14th.


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