Monday Is the Night for Shooting Stars

Geminids meteor shower peaks into Tuesday morning
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2021 8:54 AM CST
One of the Best Nights for Meteors Is Here
In this photo provided by Wally Pacholka of, a Geminid fireball explodes over the Mojave Desert in 2009.   (AP Photo/, Wally Pacholka)

It's time for what is usually one of the best meteor showers of the year. The Geminids peak Monday night into Tuesday, reports EarthSky. One snag this year is that the moon will be nearly 80% illuminated during the evening, notes Sky and Telescope. That could reduce visibility in the early part of the night, though sky watchers should still be able to some shooting stars. For the best viewing, more dedicated folks will want to watch from about 3am to dawn. CNN notes that the naked eye is preferred over a telescope, because you'll get a bigger view of the sky. And it might pay to leave the phone behind, because glancing it at will hurt your eyes' adjustment to the darkness.

"Moon or no, you can start watching the shower as soon as twilight's end on December 13th, when the radiant has barely risen in the northeastern sky," writes Babak Tafreshi at Sky and Telescope. "That's when Geminid earthgrazers will be on the prowl—meteoroids that strike the atmosphere at a very low trajectory and produce long-lasting, often bright trails." NASA has a primer on the Geminids, too "This shower is considered one of the best opportunities for young viewers since this shower starts around 9 or 10 p.m.," it reads. (More Geminid meteor shower stories.)

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