Monday night offers best viewing of Geminid meteor shower
December 9th, 2010
05:42 PM ET

Monday night offers best viewing of Geminid meteor shower

A clear sky on Monday night will offer the best viewing of one of the year's busiest meteor showers.

The Geminid meteor shower produces as many as 120 shooting stars an hour, or an average of two a minute, visible under a dark sky, Alan MacRobert, senior editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, said.

The sky will be the darkest after the first quarter moon sets, between 11 p.m. and midnight in your time zone.

"Go out late in the evening, lie back, and gaze up into the stars," MacRobert said. "Relax, be patient, and let your eyes adapt to the dark. The best direction to watch is wherever your sky is darkest, probably straight up."

Geminids can appear anywhere in the sky, the magazine said. Small ones appear as tiny, quick streaks. Occasional brighter ones may sail across the heavens for several seconds and leave a brief train of glowing smoke.

The Geminid meteoroids are tiny bits of rocky debris about the size of a pea shed from a small asteroid named 3200 Phaethon. Over the centuries these bits have spread all along the asteroid’s orbit to form a moving "river of rubble" hundreds of millions of miles long," according to the magazine.

Earth’s annual orbit around the Sun carries us through this stream of particles every mid-December.

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Filed under: Space
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Jazzy Pooh

    I think if you like a meteor shower you will like me, i think monday it will trying to a big rocky meteor showers, the sun will come said hi to the meteor shower and Mac Robert will going to say all my god i see a 147 meteor showers in the sky.

    December 10, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim K

      Lets meet up. A/S/L?

      December 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzy Pooh

      Hey TIm, wanna meet up? II am from Milwaukee Wisconsin. Where are you from? Can you get here?

      December 13, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sandra

    Should be a great month for astronomical events and star gazing! I'm looking forward to the Geminids meteor shower later in the month. I've found a ton of great viewing information on this site: http://www.spacedex.com/gemini... – I hope everyone enjoys the show!

    December 10, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sandra

    Should be a great month for astronomical events and star gazing! I'm looking forward to the Geminids meteor shower later in the month. I've found a ton of great viewing information on this site: http://www.spacedex.com/geminids – I hope everyone enjoys the show!

    December 10, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ernie

    I feel sorry for those who are so uptight they cannot even enjoy the wonders of nature, without showing bitterness. Whether you believe, as I do, that God created all nature, or believe otherwise; it is still a wonderful show to watch. And it is free!

    December 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    I dated a Gemini once. Great girl. Never met anyone like her.

    December 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 4L3X

    +1 for Science!

    December 13, 2010 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. StarGazer25

    How could anyone not appreciate the wonders of space?? For those of you that posted negative comments, please answer my question!

    December 13, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stargazer

    Saw a few last night...I look forward to tonights show!!

    December 13, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. LISAMCMC

    The Perseid meteor shower in November was awesome. I live in a rural area where it's very easy to see these gorgeous displays. I hope the cloud cover here in PA dissipates by this evening so I can see yet another meteor shower. Bundle up, everyone. It is worth it.

    December 13, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      I as well live out in the country in PA, but had no idea Geminid was taking place. Saw a green-yellow streak & flash in the sky this morning just before dawn on my way to work & thought it had to be a meteor. So I looked it up online and sure enough, Geminid taking place. Worked out well for me. Got to be warm, listening to music & saw the shower. I may just go out and watch in the cold tonight for a little though! :0)

      December 14, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jeremy McKinnon

    Haha man i get a kick out of how arguments always start throughout comments.. but guys seriously c'mon, this will be pretty cool to lay back and chill to the stars falling

    December 13, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Richard

    Thanks to light polluiton (hey Greenies, where are you on this flagrant example of wasted energy?) due to autolots, 1950's style streetlights that throw light uselessly up into the sky, building spot and "security" lights, most cities render seeing all but the brightest meteors impossible. Look at a nighttime shot of the Earth and you'd see the problem. Major Western cities are awash in light. It screws up the sky, people's circadian cycles and interferes with animal breeding.

    December 13, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. ROCKWOOD

    Be careful, you'll SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!

    December 13, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Yakov

    In soviet russia, stars gaze at you

    December 13, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lord Raa

    You're going outside to watch the "meteor shower"????

    Didn't any of you read Day of the Triffids????

    December 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
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