While the Gemini meteor shower is scheduled to happen between December 12th and the 16th, tonight the cosmic event will peak allowing viewers to watch shooting stars throughout the night sky.
Bill Cooke of the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office said, “Observers with clear skies could see as many as 40 Geminids per hour. Our all-sky network of meteor cameras has captured several early Geminid fireballs. They were so bright, we could see them despite the moonlight.”
NASA advises that those who want to see it should look up between 10pm and sunrise tomorrow morning. The Gemini meteor shower is an annual event that happens when “earth runs through a trail of dusty debris that litters the orbit of 3200 Phaethon.” Although, this meteor shower and the reason behind it remains a bit of an enigma. NASA reports, “Comets vaporizing in hot sunlight naturally produce such debris trails, but rocky asteroids like 3200 Phaethon do not. At least they’re not supposed to. The incongruity has baffled researchers since 1983 when 3200 Phaethon was discovered by NASA’s IRAS satellite.”
It’s a good thing the science doesn’t have to totally make sense to appreciate the beauty in the sky tonight. So, have a cup of coffee with dinner, and stretch your neck for some perfect star gazing tonight.