Geminids meteor shower to peak on Dec. 14

Approximately 120 meteors can be seen per hour during the shower's peak

UTAH — One of the best meteor showers of the year is slated to peak on Thursday, Dec. 14.

According to NASA, the Geminids meteor shower is visible in the northern hemisphere from Nov. 19 to Dec. 24 each year, and has been considered one of the most reliable meteor showers since it first appeared in the mid-1800s.

Most meteor showers originate from comets, but the Geminids are special in that they originate from an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon.

Astronomers believe that 3200 Phaethon is a dead comet or a rock comet about three miles across that orbits the Sun once every 1.4 years. It is named after the character in Greek mythology who drove the Sun-god Helios’ chariot.

The bright and fast meteors of the Geminids can be seen anywhere in the world, but the best views will be found during the night and pre-dawn hours, away from light pollution.

“Lie flat on your back with your feet facing south and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible,” said the NASA website. “After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient – the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.”

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