‘Prolific’ Geminid meteor shower peaks this week

NOAA image.

NOAA image.

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 EarthSky.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. Observing around 2 a.m. is best,” McClure says.

The expert says the shower is set to peak during early Wednesday and Thursday morning. “These meteors are often bold, white and bright. On a dark night, you can often catch 50 or more meteors per hour,” McClure added.

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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, adding that they’ll be visible in all parts of the sky.

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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