How (And Where) To Watch The Spectacular Geminid Meteor Shower — Tonight!

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geminid meteor shower

It's going to be one of the most spectacular sites this year.

It's the holiday season and one of the best perks of that is the beautiful lights to celebrate the joyous occasions. They are all around strung up on people's houses and businesses.

But on December 13th, there will be one of the biggest light shows of all, right in the sky: the Geminid meteor shower.

You may have heard of the Geminid meteor shower, but if not, you are in for a treat. It's known as one of the best and most magnificent showers of the year. It's also said to be even better than the Perseids of August, another spectacular shower (uh oh, some meteor competitiveness?). And this year is supposed to be the grandest of them all. What a nice way to end such a confusing and crazy twelve months. 

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The way meteor showers come about is very interesting. Comets are the main cause of these showers. With comets being the initial basis of meteor showers, a lot of dust grains accumulate and burn up as they reach our atmosphere. The Geminids specifically are associated with an asteroid called the 3200 Phaethon. It's a rock comet, according to some researchers.

If you (like me) are gonna go brag about all this info to your friends to sound smart, you might want to learn a little more about the shower.

Phaethon 3200 wasn't actually discovered until 1983. The Geminids meteor shower was recorded much earlier in the 1860s. When Phaethon 3200 gets close to the sun, it sheds its material and is heated to about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. Damn, that's hot!

Constellations are beautiful to look at but they aren't just there for show. They serve as inspiration for scientific happenings. This meteor shower, in particular, was named after the constellation Gemini because the meteors mainly seem to be coming from there. 

But if you are a constellation aficionado, don't focus mainly on the Gemini constellation. The best way to view the shower is simply by looking up. The night sky will be the best canvas to see this on. 

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The best part about all of this is that it can be seen anywhere in the world. You can be in California and text your friend in Barcelona, and then Snapchat your friend in Orlando while videochatting with your pal in Tokyo to talk about what each of you saw. 

The perfect time to view this shower will be between 7:30 PM on December 13th until the early morning of December 14th. Most likely, the meteors will be the most visible between midnight and 4 AM on the 14th. 

And get excited! NASA says the shower this year will surely be one not to miss. If you're in a city, try to get outside of it to make sure the city lights do not get in the way. If that's not an option for you, don't sweat it! The viewing this year is supposed to be extremely clear so you are likely to still catch glimpses. 

However, if you are in a chilly or cold environment and want to see it with a pair of fuzzy slippers and a cup of hot cocoa, you are in luck! You can also watch the shower online. 

NASA will be streaming the shower from its Marshall Space Flight Center beginning at sunset from Huntsville, Alabama. Also, the Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 will be showing the shower through its remotely controlled robotic telescope. 

So gather up all your family, friends and neighbors and get ready to see one of the brightest and best meteor showers of your life! 

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Molly Given is a writer and lover of all things to do with mystery and magic in life. When she's not writing her fingers off she can be found planning her next adventure in a new part of the world.