Skies partially clear for Geminid meteor shower


The object swings extremely close to the sun every 1.43 years, and the heat and gravity fracture off more rubble, which feeds the meteor shower.

Enter Slooh, the Washington Depot, Connecticut-based organization that connects telescopes around the globe.

The annual Geminid meteor shower is back, and will peak tonight during the overnight hours between midnight and dawn. For this reason, 3200 Phaethon is sometimes referred to as a "rock comet".

Observing the Geminids should be simple enough- just try get away from bright lights and look up into the sky, NASA suggested. The dust burns up when it runs into our planet's atmosphere, causing the shooting stars across the sky.

The astronomers at robotic telescope service Slooh have you covered tonight from at 9pm EST in the USA and 2am GMT on Thursday in the UK.

Skies should be mainly clear this evening for the meteor shower one of the best of the year. WeatherBell
Skies should be mainly clear this evening for the meteor shower one of the best of the year. WeatherBell

And Wednesday night should be especially good for viewing: The moon will be a thin, waning crescent that won't rise until 3:30 am and will only give off off dim light that shouldn't obscure the meteors.

The Geminids are expected to peak on the night of December 13 and early morning of December 14 this year.

With 3200 Phaethon being so close to earth, there will certainly be a chance that you can see it late at night during its passing if you own a telescope. But not all the meteors visible during the show won't technically be part of the Geminid shower.

The Geminid meteor shower gets its name because the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini. Keep in mind to find a dark spot to watch from and allow your eyes to adjust.

NASA is showing a livestream starting at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, from the Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. It can still be seen in the southern hemisphere, but it won't be high up the horizon. It'll be almost directly overhead by midnight in the Southwestern sky - at that point, all you'll need to do is look up!