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The Geminids meteor shower, known for colorful shooting stars, fireballs and long-lasting tails, is like an early holiday light show coming to the skies this weekend. The shower, regarded one of the year’s best, peaks late Friday night and early Saturday morning. Weather permitting, we may see as many as 30 meteors an hour.
That’s all-weather permitting, of course. The best time to see the Geminids is around 2 a.m. local time.
A nearly full moon is expected to wash out all but the brightest, but NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the show is still worth a trip outside to watch.
“It won’t be a total washout, because the Geminids have a lot of fireballs in them,” Cooke told Space.com.
The meteors fly quickly and could continue for a few days after the peak, so continue scanning the skies whenever you’re out at night.
But don’t look directly at Gemini — you’ll miss some of the amazing tails associated with this wintertime favorite. Instead, look slightly away from the constellation.
You’ll also want to find a dark sky to view the Geminids and make sure you allow about half an hour for your eyes to adjust. You won’t need binoculars or telescopes. And dress warmly and bring along a blanket to stay cozy while you watch the meteors fly.
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