Stargazers look directly up tonight to see a spectacular meteor light show originating from the Comet 3200 Phaethon in the constellation Gemini (looking south, almost overhead) with peak activity occurring the evening of December 13 until dawn on December 14, 2014. The night before (December 12-13) may offer a decent sprinkling of meteors as well.
In 2014, the last quarter moon will interfere. You can try watching in the evening, before moonrise around midnight. Don’t let the moonlight discourage you. A good percentage of these yellow-colored Geminid meteors are quite bright and will overcome the moonlit skies.
The chunks of rock from this defunct comet travel through space at 26 miles per second, that’s 93,600 miles per hour, as they strike the earth’s atmosphere.
Earth Sky Says….
Radiating from near the bright stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini the Twins, the Geminid meteor shower is one of the finest meteors showers visible in either the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere. The meteors are plentiful, rivaling the August Perseids, with perhaps 50 to 100 meteors per hour visible at the peak. Plus Geminid meteors are often bright, so if there’s a bright moon, many meteors may be able to overcome the harsh moonlight. These meteors are often as good in the evening as in the hours between midnight and dawn.
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Submitted by Rena