This years most active meteor shower, the Geminids, is going to reach its peak of excitement this week.
The Meteor shower takes place as each moves through a debris field shed by asteroid 3200 Phaethon as it orbits the sun.
Another notable meteor shower, the Perseid happening in august will be easier to enjoy with warmer temperatures and less cloud coverage. However the Geminid meteor shower produces more “shooting stars” per hour, around 120, compared to the 100 the Perseids puts out.
The Geminid shower has been happening since December 4th and will continue until the 16th, but the next two days will be its peak. It gets its name from the location of the sky it occurs, right near the Gemini constellation.
A great thing about meteor showers is they don’t require any special equipment, just a warm coat and a good view of the night sky.
Remember to be patient and keep looking up. Turn your phone off as any bright lights will make it difficult for your eyes to adjust and you might miss a split second streak. The Geminids are known for their speed and brightness, so they wont have very long tails.
If you happen to have a pair of binoculars, you might be able to spot another special cosmic event. There is a comet called 46P/Wirtanen which will be approaching earth on Dec. 16. You might also be able to spot it with the naked eye in ideal conditions.