The Geminid Meteor Shower: How To Catch Tonight's Fireworks

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Upwards of 60 meteors an hour burst out over Earth when the shower peaked between Wednesday December 13 and Thursday December 14.

The Geminid meteor shower, which returns every December, is predicted to be one of the most dazzling ever.

They will rise highest in the sky - and put on the most impressive show - for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere while for those in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be slightly less dramatic - as the constellation will not rise much above the local horizon.

The annual Geminid meteor shower will peak between 7:30 p.m. December 13 and dawn December 14, with rates around one per minute, according to NASA. Because in other meteor showers you have to wait until the pre-dawn hours to really get a good view, but with the Geminid meteor shower, by 9 p.m. - and certainly by midnight - the radiant point will be nearly overhead.

During the peak, meteors should be seen crossing the sky about once per minute. But this year it is, and it's coming within about 6 million miles of Earth.

The Geminds are named for the Gemini constellation in the northeastern nigh sky, from which they appear to emanate. But in this case, the shower will spring from material that's already broken off of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.

But if you are a constellation aficionado, don't focus mainly on the Gemini constellation.

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The Thursday livestream is the second in a dual set of broadcasts of the intense meteor shower.

If you do want to try to see the Geminids from a city, get into a park or even try to use buildings to block our artificial light that could ruin your night vision, Cooke said in 2015.

The Royal Greenwich Observatory said: "Hunting for meteors, like the rest of astronomy, is a waiting game, so it's best to bring a comfy chair to sit on and to wrap up warm as you could be outside for a while".

After 4 am, the moon will brighten the sky for rural observers while those in urban areas will have the best view if they watch from an area without streetlights. There will be some straggling meteors on the evening of December 14, but the shower is expected to peak on the evening of December 13, between midnight and 4a.m.

What's more, those asteroid bits are denser than typical meteor kindling, which means they move more slowly across the sky as they burn.

If your skies aren't clear or you're not able to head outside for the shower, check out NASA's meteor webcam tonight live starting at sunset.

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