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The Most Spectacular Meteor Shower of the Year Is Upon Us

07 Décembre 2017

A view of a Meteor Shower. We may still see some of these meteors on neighboring nights, in addition to viewing several lovely pairings of the crescent moon with the planets Jupiter and Mars. As asteroid 3200 Phaethon orbits the sun about once every 1.4 years, it leaves behind a trail of debris.

Geminids meteor shower 2017: What is it?

The stars are aligning for this year's Geminid meteor shower to be particularly magnificent.

In some years, the moon is at a large phase all or most of the night and its bright light washes out our view of most of the meteors.

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The other reason why this year is astronomically favorable for the U.S.to see the Geminids is the exact timing of Earth's encounter with the central section of the meteoroid swarm.

The event is due to take place on the night of 13 and 14 December, during which stargazers are likely to see a high number of visible shooting stars.

The Geminids are usually one of the best meteor showers of the year.

How many meteors will you see? Meteors should be visible across the entire sky, though the best way to catch them is to look south toward the constellation. Observers need to go to areas with little light pollution. The few Geminids that do occur then, however, will tend to be "earthgrazers" - meteors with incredibly long flights, sometimes nearly all the way across the sky. You'll begin seeing them in the sky as early as 9 or 10 p.m. local time, no matter where you are. From 11 p.m.to 4 a.m. Geminid rates of 60 or more would be possible if skies are quite clear. If you live in the United Kingdom, with its unending proclivity for leaden skies, you may not be so lucky but don't despair; you may still get a chance to see some ethereal pairings of the crescent moon with the planets Jupiter and Mars instead.

The Most Spectacular Meteor Shower of the Year Is Upon Us