MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -The Geminid meteor shower is said to be the best of all the meteor showers. The reason is because it is the brightest, but this year the moonlight may make it difficult to see as many meteors. Despite the moonlight, experts say it will still be visible because the Geminids contain a lot of fireballs.
Last year the Geminids displayed over 200 meters per hour, but this year only 20 to 30 will be visible per hour. The show will peak Dec. 13 and 14. The best time to view the meteor shower will be around 2 a.m. but you may be able to see them as early as 9 or 10 p.m. Experts suggest looking up even after the peak days because bright meteors may be visible a few days following the peak days.
The Geminid meteor shower is said to be close to 200 years old. The first recorded observation was in 1833. And get this, it was from a boat on the Mississippi River. Experts believe that this shower will be going strong for years to come because Jupiter’s gravity has pulled the meteors closer to the Earth over the centuries.
The Geminids came from the object 3200 Phaethon, which may have undergone a collision with another object in the past. That collision produced a stream of particles (Geminids) that Earth runs into.
To view the shower, no binoculars or telescopes are needed. It’s best to lie on the ground and get away from city lights. Give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the dark.