The Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week
One of the best meteor showers of the fall season, and of the year, peaks this week.
Fall is almost over, and there's one last meteor shower of the season that you won't want to miss. It's also the last meteor shower you can view without freezing to the bone in the dead of winter. Maine is a great place to see one of the best meteor showers of the year. It's not very hard to find dark areas away from light pollution to get a clear view of the night sky.
The Geminid meteor shower will peak December 13-14. This is one of the most reliable meteor showers, and usually easily seen. The "Gems" create long, bright, streaks in the night sky. This is because they hit Earth's atmosphere at a relativity slow speed, about 79,200 MPH. Compared to the speed of Orionid meteors, at around 147,600 MPH.
This year the peak falls one day after a new moon, meaning it will be an ideal dark skywatching night. According to EarthSky.com, expect around 50 per-hour.
The next major meteor shower, and the first of 2021, is the Quadrantid meteor shower. The International Meteor Organization forecasts the light show to peak January 3. The meteor shower is known for producing bright fireballs. However, the waning full "Cold Moon" which rises only 6 days prior, will likely wash out the night sky.