12 December, 2017
"This year the Geminid meteor shower is predicted to peak on the night of December 13 and the early morning of December 14".
Generally, the meteor shower associated with 3200 Phaethon, a 5.1 km piece of rock, peaks around the second week of December and some astronomers believe the asteroid may have undergone a collision with another object in the distant past to produce the stream of particles that Earth runs into creating the meteor shower.
Good viewing conditions are expected in the Upstate, but we could have some clouds for the mountains as we have the remnants of northwest flow snow showers lingering Tuesday night.
The Geminids meteor shower is considered the best meteor shower of the year because it is the most consistent and active annual meteor shower which can be seen from nearly any point on Earth.
What is a meteor shower?
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The observatory at the Telus World of Science will be open for people wishing to view the Geminid shower on Wednesday and Thursday from 7 p.m.to 10 p.m., weather permitting. If you're in a cold area, dress warmly and grab a blanket to lie down (ideally somewhere far away from light pollution). This object, which was discovered on October 11, 1983, will come very close to Earth this time, 26 times farther away than the moon, thereby putting on a spectacular show. "They move relatively slowly across the sky so are easy to photograph, and you can get one or two fireballs among them". It'll take 20-30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.
People across the city and elsewhere in the country will get an fantastic opportunity to witness a meteor shower display on Wednesday night. Gemini will rise in the east, but shooting stars can be seen in all quadrants of the sky - so most experts advise simply lying flat and looking up.
The shower is named for the constellation Gemini, from which the meteors appear to emanate.
NASA considers the Geminids one of the best and most reliable meteor showers - a better cosmic show than the Perseids meteor shower that get plenty of attention in August.