How to watch the Geminids, 2017's best meteor shower, this week

Nature's magnificent show

Nature's magnificent show

It is an early foreshadowing of the Geminid Meteor shower, which will peak December 13-14. Objects relatively close to Earth are illustrated, in general, as nearer to the cartoon figure with the telescope at the bottom center - although nearly everything pictured can be seen without a telescope. The Moon will be a barely-there waning crescent. "The shower will start at around 10 pm on December 13 when the Gemini constellation will be visible in the north-eastern sky, a little above and right of the familiar Orion constellation", Duari said. Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere will have a better chance at viewing the shower because the radiant, or where the meteors appear to come from, will be lower in the sky in the Southern Hemisphere.

What sets the Geminids apart from other meteor showers is their point of origin.

But the Geminids which peak Wednesday, Dec. 13 could be awesome this year.

Find Orion from its belt and look up and to the left to find Gemini
Find Orion from its belt and look up and to the left to find Gemini

While the peak is expected to occur when you can see about 120 meteors per hour at about 2 a.m. on December 14, National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Metzger said the moon and cloud cover in the Wichita area are likely to steal the show.

The Geminid maximum also coincides with a bright return of its parent asteroid, 3200 Phaethon.

But before it zooms past Earth, its debris will plunge into our atmosphere and explode as shooting stars.

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"Skywatching is easy. Just get away from bright lights and look up in any direction!"

The best time to enjoy the meteor shower this year is on the night of December 13 and morning of December 14.

Meteor showers occur when the Earth ploughs through clouds of cometary dust.

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Not all the meteorites you might see belong to the Geminid shower, however.

If you DO head out to see the Geminids, the same rules apply for viewing. You'll also want to make sure you give yourself enough time for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

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