Geminid meteor shower set to peak for the weekend

Published: Dec. 13, 2014 at 9:08 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2015 at 9:08 PM CST
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Saturday night, the earth will be in the densest part of the stream of dust left behind by...
Saturday night, the earth will be in the densest part of the stream of dust left behind by asteroid Phaethon 3200.(Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Geminid meteor shower, named for the constellation Gemini where the meteors appear to radiate from, peaks this weekend. Saturday night, the earth will be in the densest part of the stream of dust left behind by asteroid Phaethon 3200.

The Geminids are the most active and most dependable of the year's meteor showers. Meteor activity may be visible as soon as it gets dark, just before 5 p.m. Saturday, and will increase as the constellation rises around 7 p.m. with activity increasing as the night wear on.

During the evening hours, city dwellers can expect to see 10-20 Geminids per hour, suburbs 20-30, and rural locations can look for up to 50. Although meteor activity increases, and peaks overnight, the quarter moon rising around midnight will begin washing out the fainter meteors.

The best time to look up will be between 7 p.m. and midnight. Be sure to dress warmly as temperatures are expected to fall into the 30's. A few high clouds may stream in late Saturday night, but they shouldn't hinder any meteor watching.

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