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Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Wednesday Night

13 December 2017, 04:48 | Sammy Green

Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Wednesday Night

The Geminids are coming

The peak of the Geminid meteor shower is set to make for a spectacular view of the cosmos this month.

Last year's Geminid shower was less impressive because a supermoon light was in full brightness - obscuring the subtle streaks of the said annual shower. And this year, they're predicted to yield about 120 meteors per hour.

To increase the chances of seeing meteors, choose a site at least 40 miles from a major city, Astronomy.com said. Observers in the Southern Hemisphere can still enjoy the Geminids meteor shower. The summer Perseids-which the American Meteor Society calls "the most popular meteor shower"-may be better known, and are arguably the closest contender to the Geminids".

This year is especially good because the moon will be a thin crescent, so moonlight should not interfere. A meteor a minute is certainly nothing to complain about. The next time 3200 Phaethon approaches Earth at such a close distance will be 2093. No matter where you are viewing, NASA says the meteor shower will reach its peak between 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 and dawn the morning of Dec. 14, with the most meteors visible from midnight to 4 a.m. on Dec. 14.

"Which when you think the Earth is 150 million kilometres from the Sun, that's really close and therefore that's why it gets really hot", Dr Horner said.

Once the meteors break out into the sky from their radiant point near the Gemini constellation, they will dash in every direction imaginable.

The Geminids peak during mid-December each year.

According to NASA this is one of the most prolific and reliable meteor showers of the year.

"Phaethon has to be swinging inwards towards the Sun just as Earth is in the right place to cross [under] its orbit", Dr Horner said. Wednesday night the sky will be darker, making it easier to see the shooting stars.

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