Geminid meteor shower set to dazzle sky after midnight

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The Geminid meteor shower comprises shooting stars that are commonly bright with long persisting trains, it is considered one of the best and most reliable meteor showers of the year. This year the Geminids fall just before the new moon so visibility will be even better with only a waning crescent moon expected tonight.

Magnolia-area weather on Wednesday night should be clear with temperatures in the upper 30s.

If you're looking to capture this event for your Instagram, you're in luck because the Geminids are among the easiest meteors to photograph, thanks to their brightness and relatively slow speed.

The Virtual Telescope Project said: "The Geminid meteors are ready to offer us an incredible shower, the best of this year, while their parent body, the potentially hazardous asteroid (3200) Phaethon, reaches its minimum distance from the Earth".

A meteor shower is caused when the earth passes through dust and debris left behind from a previous comet or asteroid.

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"Geminid activity is broad", said Bill Cooke, of the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office, in a NASA press release. The asteroid was discovered in 1983. The Geminids are active every Decemberand appear close to the constellation Gemini. The most meteors will be visible between midnight and 4 a.m. Observers will see fewer Geminids in the Southern Hemisphere, where the radiant doesn't climb very high over the horizon.

Viewers will get a particularly good look tonight thanks to a dark sky. In addition, you should give your eyes about 20 - 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness.

That being said, it can be hard to predict exactly where in the sky meteors will be seen.

While British Columbians are still settling in and prepping for the spectacular Geminid meteor shower, other parts of the world have already had their show. In this case, we'll see about 120 meteors per hour.

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