The annual Geminid meteor shower is set to peak this week and we’ll have a shot to see it in Michigan skies.
The meteor shower, which started its appearance earlier this month, will peak tonight (Dec. 13) and early Dec. 14. The best chance to see it will be around 2 a.m. from a dark-sky location, according to EarthSky, or from 3 a.m. to dawn.
“This year, a waxing gibbous moon will be above the horizon during peak time for viewing. But it’ll set shortly afterwards, leaving the sky dark for watching meteors,” says EarthSky. We could be dealing with some cloud cover in Metro Detroit.
According to NASA, The Geminids are caused by debris from a celestial object known as 3200 Phaethon, whose origin is the subject of some debate. Some astronomers consider it to be an extinct comet, based on observations showing some small amount of material leaving Phaethon’s surface. Others argue that it has to be an asteroid because of its orbit and its similarity to the main-belt asteroid Pallas.
The Geminids can be seen by most of the world. Yet, it is best viewed by observers in the Northern Hemisphere.
NASA will broadcast a live stream of the shower’s peak Dec. 13-14 via a meteor camera at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, weather pending, starting at 8 p.m. CST on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page.