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Geminid meteor shower peaks early Thursday morning


The Geminids are the only meteor shower to be produced by an asteroid.

The Geminids get active every December when Earth moves through a vast trail of dusty debris shed by a mysterious, rocky object called 3200 Phaethon.

It's known as one of the best and most magnificent showers of the year.

Unlike August's Perseids which competed with bright moonlight, "The thin, waning crescent Moon won't spoil the show", according to Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, Ala. Of course, the more away from light pollution you are, the better chance you will see more.

At its peak, people can expect to see, on average, 1 to 2 meteors per minute.

The Geminds are named for the Gemini constellation in the northeastern nigh sky, from which they appear to emanate. The Geminid meteors are leftover comet particles and bits from asteroids, unlike other meteor showers.


The shower will start at approximately 10 pm on 13 December when the Gemini constellation will be noticeable in the north-eastern sky. The debris from the asteroid will give us our meteor show Wednesday night. You can view the meteor shower after sunset Wednesday through sunrise Thursday.

Night-time sky-watchers willing to courageous the cold can look forward to a spectacular display of shooting stars tonight. The best views will be in the Northern Hemisphere. But you'll be able to see the streaks and fireballs from around then until about early morning, so if you want to set your alarm a little later, enjoy the rest.

After today's snowstorm ends, several parts of MI should have clear skies overnight when the Geminids peak, from about midnight to 4 a.m.

The best viewing time will start just before midnight and last until 3:30 a.m. on December 14th.

For stargazers not willing to fearless the cold, Space.com will be airing a live broadcast of the Geminids, courtesy of NASA, beginning at 5:40 p.m.

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