‘Prolific’ Geminid meteor shower peaks this weekend

     (Image: NOAA)

    (Image: NOAA)

    It’s once again time for the peak of the prolific Geminid meteor shower.

    The celestial show will dazzle late night owl sky gazers, as it’s a “particularly reliable and prolific shower, one of the finest of the year,” writes EarthySky.org’s Bruce McClure.

    “Geminid meteors tend to be few and far between at early evening, but intensify in number as evening deepens into late night,” says McClure. “The waxing crescent moon will set at early evening, leaving dark skies for this year’s Geminid meteor shower. Geminid meteors are bright!”

    The expert says the shower could peak Sunday night into Monday morning but suggests also gazing tomorrow night and Monday night.

    The peak time is around 2 a.m. due to the constellation Gemini reaching its highest point.

    “As a general rule, the higher the constellation Gemini climbs into your sky, the more Geminid meteors you’re likely to see,” writes McClure.

    A potentially major wrinkle is overcast skies Sunday and Monday nights, so if you can, gaze tomorrow.

    No special equipment is needed to watch a meteor shower, according to NOAA.

    Simply find a dark, open sky away from artificial lights. Lie down comfortably on a blanket or lawn chair, and look straight up.

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