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Meteor Shower Tonight!

What might well be the best meteor shower of 2018 heads our way Thursday night into the pre-dawn hours of Friday morning (Dec. 13-14): It’s the annual performance of the Geminid meteor shower.

The Geminids get their name from the constellation of Gemini, the twins. During the overnight hours of Thursday to Friday, the night of this shower’s maximum, the meteors will appear to emanate from a spot in the sky near the bright star Castor in Gemini.

The Geminids meteor shower, one of the most spectacular of the year, runs from December 4 to 16 annually. In 2018, it will peak before dawn on Friday, December 14, when up to 120 meteors per hour are possible to see under dark sky conditions. Geminids meteors are often bright, intensely colored, and slower moving than average because they are produced by particles dropped by an asteroid designated 3200 Phaethon. The best time to watch for Geminids will be sunset on Wednesday until dawn on Thursday morning. At about 2 a.m. local time, the sky overhead will be plowing into the densest part of the debris field. The early-setting crescent moon on the peak night will provide a dark sky for meteor-watchers.

The Geminids meteor shower, one of the most spectacular of the year, runs from December 4 to 16 annually. In 2018, it will peak before dawn on Friday, December 14, when up to 120 meteors per hour are possible to see under dark sky conditions. Geminids meteors are often bright, intensely colored, and slower moving than average because they are produced by particles dropped by an asteroid designated 3200 Phaethon. The best time to watch for Geminids will be sunset on Wednesday until dawn on Thursday morning. At about 2 a.m. local time, the sky overhead will be plowing into the densest part of the debris field. The early-setting crescent moon on the peak night will provide a dark sky for meteor-watchers.

Credit: Starry Night software

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