Submitted by the Event Organizer
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).
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. In 2018, the rather wide waxing crescent moon, staying out until mid-evening, shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
The moon will set before the peak viewing hours of the Geminid shower, from late evening until dawn. The meteors are plentiful, rivaling the August Perseids. They are often bold, white and bright. On a dark night, you can often catch 50 or more meteors per hour. The greatest number of meteors fall in the wee hours after midnight, centered around 2 am local time (the time on your clock no matter where you are on Earth), when the radiant point is highest in the sky.
In 2018, watch the usually reliable and prolific Geminid meteor shower from mid-evening December 13 until dawn December 14.
An earthgrazer meteor may be possible during the late evening. You don’t need to find a meteor shower’s radiant point to see the shower. The meteors will appear in all parts of the sky. It’s even possible to have your back to the constellation Gemini and see a Geminid meteor fly by. However, if you trace the path of a Geminid meteor backwards, it appears to originate from within the constellation Gemini.
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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