Thursday night will feature hundreds of meteors streaking across the night sky as the Geminid shower reaches its peak.
“The Geminids are usually the strongest meteor showers of the year and meteor enthusiasts are certain to circle Dec. 13 and 14 on their calendars,” the American Meteor Society said.
The chilly winter weather may deter some people from heading outside this week to look for the Geminids, but those that brave the elements will be rewarded with up to 120 multi-colored meteors per hour.
When to look for the Geminids
The Geminids will peak on Thursday night into early Friday morning, but onlookers should be able to spot plenty of meteors on the nights leading up to the shower’s peak.
In addition to being the most active meteor shower of the year, it is also one of the few showers where meteors are visible during the evening hours.
“Most meteor showers tend to have better meteor rates after midnight, but the Geminids will be very active all night,“ AccuWeather Astronomy blogger Dave Samuhel said.
This is good for younger observers trying to spot some meteors on a school night.
However, the best viewing conditions will arrive after midnight when the hourly meteor rate increases and after the moon has set.