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Geminid Meteor Shower peaks next couple nights

Geminid Meteor Shower peaks next couple nights

The Geminid meteor shower, which will peak Wednesday night and be visible through early Thursday morning, is consistently one of the brightest shows of the year.

An nearly absent moon will ensure that the meteors, widely regarded as the most impressive of the year, stand out brightly as they streak across the sky. According to NASA, meteor rates will be around 60 per hour.

"It's best to be in a place where there's no city lights", they said.

Meanwhile on the meteor shower front, the Geminids are known for the brightness of the individual meteors and their frequency: as many as 120 per hour, according to Space.com. Observers in the Southern Hemisphere can still enjoy the Geminids meteor shower.

"So don't be put off by the fact that you're waiting for five or so minutes and you still haven't seen a meteor".

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This year is especially good because the moon will be a thin crescent, so moonlight should not interfere. "It's either a near-Earth asteroid or an extinct comet, sometimes called a rock comet". The next time 3200 Phaethon approaches Earth at such a close distance will be 2093. The shower peaks just after 9 p.m. December 13 and lasts until dawn December 14.

"Which when you think the Earth is 150 million kilometres from the Sun, that's really close and therefore that's why it gets really hot", Dr Horner said.

The Geminids are the namesake of the Gemini constellation, from which they appear to radiate.

Every year in mid-December, the earth passes by debris left over from asteroid Phaethon which orbits the sun every 1.4 years.

Folks willing to endure some cold and stay up past their bedtimes are about to be treated to the annual Geminid meteor shower this week, which is expected to one of the best of the year. Wednesday night the sky will be darker, making it easier to see the shooting stars.

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