While the Super Moon took away some of the magic from last year’s Geminid Meteor Shower, this year will be a perfect opportunity to witness its beauty.
You can watch the shower whether you’re in the middle of a city or surrounded by farmland. For this celestial wonder, your specific location does not matter. However, there are a few things that could make your viewing experience better.
METEOR SHOWER VIEWING TIPS
- The sky needs to be dark and clear, away from all the city lights.
- Try to get in an open space; you don’t want trees or buildings blocking your view.
- Where to look? The best place to start is between the radiant and the zenith (straight above you). The radiant is where the meteors appear to start from.
- Starting around midnight, your location on the globe spins around to the forward-facing half of Earth (in relation to the direction of orbit). At dawn, your location on the globe directly faces the direction in which Earth is traveling along its orbit. So between midnight and dawn, you’ll be viewing the meteors head-on, for a more frequent display.
- You don’t need any special equipment. In fact, binoculars do not work for meteor showers. The naked eye is best.
Generally, most major meteor showers are best seen after midnight; some don’t even appear until after then. The best time to view a meteor shower is usually between 2 a.m. and just before twilight.
Are you thinking it’s absolutely crazy to get up in the middle of the night to look at the sky? You’re in luck, Geminids can be seen much earlier, with the shower starting around 9 and lasting through twilight.
There is a meteor shower tonight, but when is the next one?
2017 METEOR SHOWERS CALENDAR
Note that the meteor shower dates do not change much from year to year.
|Principal Meteor Showers|
|SHOWER||BEST VIEWING||ORIGIN||DATE OF MAXIMUM*||# PER HOUR||ASSOCIATED COMET|
|Eta Aquarid||Predawn||SE||May 4||10||Halley|
|Draconid||Late evening||NW||Oct. 9||6||Giacobini-Zinner|
|Taurid||Late evening||S||Nov. 9||3||Encke|
|Andromedid||Late evening||S||Nov. 25–27||5||Biela|
|Geminid||All night||NE||Dec. 13–14||75||—|
|*May vary by one or two days **Moonless, rural sky Bold = most prominent|
For more scientific information on tonight’s shower and how it got its name visit https://www.space.com/34921-geminid-meteor-shower-guide.html