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2017 Geminids Meteor Shower | Bright Fireballs & Dark Sky

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 11:59 pm to 5:00 am | Cost: FREE
San Francisco Bay Area |

2017 Geminids Meteor Shower

Stargazers can look directly up (away from city lights) to see a spectacular meteor light show originating from the Comet 3200 Phaethon in the constellation Gemini (looking south, almost overhead). 

The peak nights of the 2017 Geminid meteor shower are expected mid-evening December 13 until dawn December 14. Try the nights before and after, too, anywhere from about the evening of December 12 to the morning of December 15. Your local peak will typically be centered at about 2 am local time, no matter where you are on the globe. That’s because the constellation Gemini – radiant point of the shower – will reach its highest point for the night around 2 am (your local time). As a general rule, the higher the constellation Gemini climbs into your sky, the more Geminid meteors you’re likely to see.

An earthgrazer meteor may be possible during the early evening. Please note that you won’t see as many Geminid meteors when the constellation Gemini sits close to the eastern horizon during the evening hours. However, as night passes, the Geminid’s radiant will climb upward, so the meteors will be raining down from a point that’s higher in the sky.

Even so, the evening hours are the best time to try to catch an earthgrazer meteor.

Earthgrazers are rarely seen but prove to be especially memorable, if you should be lucky enough to catch one. An earthgrazer is a slow-moving, long-lasting meteor that travels horizontally across the sky.

Viewing tips: Get as far away from city lights as possible. Be sure to give yourself at least an hour of observing time. It takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the dark.

Source: Earth Sky


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