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 night of December 13-14, 2013, mid-evening until dawn with approximately 50 or more meteors per hour on a clear evening.
There is a bight moon for 2013 which may obscure all but the brightest meteors, so for prime viewing, we are told will be after moonset at 3:47 am until dawn, away from city lights, and hope for clear 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.
In 2013, a bright waxing gibbous moon will interfere with the Geminids throughout most of the peak night. Your best bet is to watch on the mornings of December 13 and 14, from moonset until dawn.
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, San Francisco Bay Area
Submitted by Rena