Astronomically speaking, December is filled with skylit gems including two eclipses and a dazzling meteor shower. The Geminids peak tonight, December 13, 2020, offering stargazers a reason to brave out into the cold. While it is recommended to use binoculars, if the skies are clear enough, the shower will be visible with the naked eye.
“Realistically, the predicted rate for observers in the Northern Hemisphere is closer to 60 meteors per hour,” according to a NASA report. “This means you can expect to see an average of one Geminid per minute in dark skies at the shower peak.”
“Gemind watchers who observe from midnight to 4 a.m. should catch the most meteors,” NASA stated.
Clear skies away from city lights will provide the best opportunity to seeing the Geminids soar. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness. It typically takes approximately 30 minutes for the eyes to adjust so be sure to dress in something warm and make yourself comfortable. You’ll likely want to stay outside for at least two hours to experience the shower in it’s full capacity.
“Meteors can generally be seen all over the sky. Avoid watching the radiant because meteors close to it have very short trails and are easily missed,” NASA states. “When you see a meteor, try to trace it backward. If you end up in the constellation Gemini, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a Geminid.”
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