Eyes to the Skies: Hundreds of Meteors Will Dash Over Wyoming this Month
The Geminid meteor shower will last until Dec. 24, but the best time to watch will be between Dec. 13th and 14th at 2:00 a.m. Lucky for star gazers, the moon will be in a waxing crescent phase, so the meteors won't be competing for light.
The meteors get their name from Gemini the Twins, a constellation with the bright star Castor from which the meteors radiate. The Geminid shower is one of two major ones that doesn't come from a comet, but an asteroid. NASA esteems it as "one of the best and most reliable annual meteor showers."
But it wasn't always that way. "The Geminids first began appearing in the mid-1800s. However, the first showers were not noteworthy with only 10 to 20 meteors seen per hour. Since that time, the Geminids have grown to become one of the major meteor showers of the year. During its peak, 120 Geminid meteors can be seen per hour under perfect conditions. The Geminids are bright and fast meteors and tend to be yellow in color."
How to Watch a Meteor Shower
Catching a beautiful meteor shower doesn't require much. An eye, a cloud-free night, and patience. Best viewing practices recommend laying down somewhere comfortable to keep your gaze upward. It doesn't matter if you are staring directly at the Gemini constellation because meteors that are farther away will appear longer. Getting away from bright city lights will help.
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