By Elizabeth Howell
If it’s clear outside on Wednesday night (Dec. 13) and Thursday morning (Dec. 14) before dawn, be sure to go outdoors. One of the year’s top meteor showers, the Geminids, will peak, with rates as high as one or two meteors per minute at around 10 p.m. local time. However, the show will start around 7 p.m. local time, according to the magazine Sky & Telescope.
But if you can’t make it out, or if skies are gloomy, you can also watch a Geminids webcast here from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama starting at sunset, about 4:40 p.m. CST (5:40 p.m. EST, or 2230 GMT) on Dec. 13. The Virtual Telescope Project will also host a webcast here showing live views from Italy, starting at 5 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) on Dec. 13, and Arizona, starting at 5 a.m. (1000 GMT) on Dec. 14.
“The Geminids are usually one of the two best meteor showers of the year,” Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky & Telescope, said in a statement. “Sometimes, they’re more impressive than the better-known Perseids of August.”
The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, which is in between the constellations Taurus and Cancer. To find Gemini, look for the bright constellation Orion (easily visible due to the “belt” of three stars in a row). Gemini is just over Orion’s right shoulder. But there’s no need to look directly at Gemini to see the meteors.
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