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Turn skyward to catch one of world’s best meteor showers

Megan Durisin


 /  Sun, December 15, 2019  /  07:02 am
Turn skyward to catch one of world’s best meteor showers

A meteor from the Geminids meteor shower (streak at top) enters the Earth's atmosphere on Dec. 12, 2009 above Southold, New York. This meteor shower gets the name 'Geminids' because it appears to radiate from the constellation Gemini. Geminids are pieces of debris from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. Earth runs into a stream of debris from the object every year in mid-December, causing the meteors. (AFP/Stan Honda)

Star gazers worldwide will be turning to the skies this weekend to check out one of the world’s best meteor showers.

The American Meteorological Society calls the Geminids meteor shower the “most dependable” shower of the year. While the event can draw up to 120 meteors an hour, observers in 2019 will see fewer because of a full moon.

The peak of the Geminids occurred Saturday morning, but there’s still good chances for spotting meteors into early-morning on Sunday, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. For the best views, head to a spot free of light pollution and turn skyward between midnight and 4 a.m.

Read also: Full moon might obscure Geminid meteor shower, expert says

The Geminids shower streaks the night skies every year near this time, as the Earth crosses into a stream of astronomical debris that spurs meteors to fly from the direction of the Gemini constellation, NASA says. The phenomenon is viewable across the planet.

If you miss this one, there could be another chance to take in meteors before the new year. The Ursids shower peaks next week in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s a more sparse affair, with about five to 10 meteors an hour.

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