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The Geminids Meteor Shower

For the hardy who are willing to brave the cold of the mid-December pre-dawn hours, you can observe the cast-off debris of an unknown object (probably an exhausted and more-ancient-than-most comet) as it makes bright trails in the sky.

In 2016, from December 1 through 18, the Geminids meteor shower returns to our skies.

This year, the predicted peak is on the evening of December 13 through dawn of the 14th. The moon should not be a factor, this year, as it doesn't rise until after dawn. Geminid meteors tend to be pretty bright, so they are well worth watching for! You can probably expect to start seeing some Geminids as soon as the sky gets dark, actually.

The best time to view most meteor showers is between midnight and dawn. Find a place with dark skies, and set out a sleeping bag. Climb in and watch. The meteors will appear anywhere in the sky, but their trails will mostly tend to track back to near the constellation Gemini, which is high in the sky at midnight. And thus derives the name of this shower (as is true for all meteor showers).

To view a meteor shower, find yourself a dark location (away from lights) with a good view of the sky. Although the shower radiant (Gemini) is near the zenith of the sky, you will want to view as much of the entire sky as possible. The meteors don't usually appear in the radiant itself. guide

Get a lawn chair and sleeping bag, and just "space out", taking in the night sky as a whole. Or, you might take the opportunity to drag out your telescope (or even just your binoculars) to view some astronomical objects, in between your meteor observations.

Don't try to use the binoculars or a 'scope to observe meteors -- they are too unpredictable, and move too fast.

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