One of the Year's Best Sky Shows Is About to Debut

Geminids meteor shower peaks Tuesday into Wednesday morning around the world
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2022 8:13 AM CST
Geminids' Annual Show Should Still Rock, Despite Pesky Moon
Stock photo of a meteor shower.   (Getty Images/bbsferrari)

It's time once again for one of the biggest sky shows of the year: the Geminid meteor showers, set to peak in this week's skies on Tuesday night into the early hours of Wednesday, per the American Meteor Society. "If you had to pin one [meteor shower] as being the best of the year, year in and year out, it would be the Geminids," the society's Robert Lunsford tells CNN, adding that spectators in certain locations could spot 30 to 40 meteors per hour under the right conditions. NASA puts that number even higher, noting that one could see up to 120 meteors per hour if the skies are clear and there's very low light pollution.

There will be one big orb of light that will likely mar that higher hit rate, however: The moon is set to be at 72% fullness on Tuesday night, per the AMS. Still, it should be a "good shower," Bill Cooke, head of the space agency's Meteoroid Environment Office, tells CNN, as long as you head to as dark a spot as you can find, preferably with something like a tree or building to block that lunar spoiler.

The meteors, which are viewable around much of the globe, seem to radiate from the Gemini constellation, which is set to rise in the sky around 10pm ET on Tuesday. "You can observe when the radiant is at its highest, which is between 1am and 2am ET with moonlight, or you can try viewing earlier in the evening when the moon is still below the horizon," Lunsford says, per CNN. Viewers in the Southern Hemisphere will have a slightly tougher time seeing the meteors, so Lunsford recommends people there stay up for the middle-of-the-night show. The showers are set to be active through Christmas Eve. (More Geminid meteor shower stories.)

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