The Best Meteor Shower of 2017

This Wednesday night/Thursday morning (December 13 – 14) will be your chance to view the best meteor shower of 2017. The annual Geminid meteor shower produces up to 120 meteors per hour at is peak, more than any other of the year. There is also an increase in meteor activity in the nights leading up to and after the peak shower.

“It’s definitely an easy thing to see. Just go outside and wait,” said Brian Skiff, an astronomy research assistant at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

The only drawback: It’s December. So, you’ll need to bundle up if you plan to be outside for a while.

Viewing tips from local astronomers:

When to view: The best time to look for meteors is from 2 a.m. to dawn on Thursday morning, Dec. 14.

Where to look in the sky:  Meteors will appear across the sky, said Patrick Young, an associate professor at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. In the city, you have the best chance of seeing meteors if you look straight up, where the sky will be the darkest.

How to view: Get out of the city, if you can. Or find the darkest spot in your yard away from street and house lights. Meteors appear in bursts, Young said. You may see several in a short time and then not any for several minutes.

Get comfortable and plan to spend at least 20 minutes in a lawn chair. The fast-moving meteors disappear quickly from view. Some will be too faint to see with the light pollution.

What not to do: Don’t use binoculars or a telescope. These instruments will limit your view to only part of the sky so you will potentially miss meteors. The naked eye is best.

Don’t want to leave the house? NASA will broadcast the Geminid shower live online via Ustream starting at sunset Wednesday, Dec. 13 from the Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.


Read original article on AZ Central here to learn more about the upcoming meteor shower.