If the weather where you are is anything like it is in Texas, tonight and tomorrow could be fantastic for your inner stargazer. The moon is new, the sky over much of the US clear, and the dust and gravel remains from comet 3200 Phaethon, AKA the Geminid meteor shower, will streak across the night sky in spectacular fashion:
Patch– You might even want to get your umbrellas out for this one – the meteor showers are pretty intense. Over the decades the rates have increased, regularly spawning between 80 and 120 per hour at its peak on a clear evening. How spectacular is it? Just take a look at this video of the Geminid meteor shower. You can also look at some spectacular photos of the Geminids.
Earthsky.org reports the Geminids peak might be around 2 a.m. on Dec. 13 and 14, because that’s when the shower’s radiant point is highest in the sky as seen around the world. “With no moon to ruin the show, 2012 presents a most favorable year for watching the grand finale of the meteor showers,” Earthsky reports. “Best viewing of the Geminids will probably be from about 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on December 14.”