NASA scientists said the Geminid meteor show will be the best shower of 2017, so you don’t want to miss it! Here is everything you need to know about the celestial event!
While Gemini season was from May 21 through June 20, people born under the zodiac sign will be happy to know their constellation is giving them a second chance to shine this year. The Geminid meteor shower occurs every December, meaning it’s time to witness it in all of it’s astronomical glory. The show will reach its peak tonight, Dec. 13 through early the next morning. The largest number of meteors will be visible between midnight and 4 a.m. local time. You definitely won’t want to miss it — they’re going to be “the best shower this year,” Bill Cooke, a NASA meteor scientist said in a press release.
So how can you watch the celestial event? The meteors are usually bright and easy to spot, so you won’t need telescopes or binoculars to witness the show. You can see the meteors with the naked eye under clear, dark skies over most of the world, but the best view is in the Northern Hemisphere, according to NASA. And this year, they’ll be even easier to spot. “With August’s Perseids obscured by bright moonlight, the Geminids will be the best shower this year,” Cooke said. “The thin, waning crescent Moon won’t spoil the show.” Awesome!
The Geminid meteors appear to come from the Gemini constellation, hence the name. But not all the meteors visible during the show won’t technically be part of the Geminid shower. Some might be from weaker, active showers, Cooke said. The scientist has tips for how to know whether what you’re seeing is meant to be part of the show or not. “When you see a meteor, try to trace it backwards,” he said. “If you end up in the constellation Gemini, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a Geminid.” Not sure where the constellation is? It’ll be nearly directly overhead by midnight in the Southwestern sky — at that point, all you’ll need to do is look up!
HollywoodLifers, will you watch the Geminid shower? Let us know your stargazing plans in the comments below!