Best meteor shower of 2017 peaks tonight - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Best meteor shower of 2017 peaks tonight

Geminids meteor shower peaks on Wednesday night. (Source: Sky & Telescope) Geminids meteor shower peaks on Wednesday night. (Source: Sky & Telescope)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

One of the best meteor showers of the season will peak tonight.

The Geminid meteor shower typically produces about 120 meteors each hour. With the past few meteor showers, a full or nearly full moon has not made for the best viewing conditions. The moon rises at 2:36 a.m. Thursday, so you will have slightly better viewing before that.  The peak viewing time will be around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, but you can still see meteors earlier or after that time.

However, a crescent moon tonight means the sky will remain relatively dark. You can view the meteor shower after sunset Wednesday through sunrise Thursday.

According to scientists, Geminids have a much slower speed than other meteors and typically come in at an angle in the sky. This means that the meteors will be easier to view, since they spend longer dashing through the night sky. You will want to look towards the darkest part of the sky, which depends on your locations. Most of the Geminids looks bright white, but they can sometimes have a more yellow hue.

WEATHER FOR THE METEOR SHOWER: It will be a typically cold December night with temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s during the meteor shower. The sky will be mostly clear, so you won’t have clouds blocking your view. Since it is expected to be chilly, we recommend putting on a heavy coat and bringing a blanket. Best viewing is always in a place away from bright city lights, so try to travel a few miles away from a heavily populated area. 

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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