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Geminids meteor shower to grace the skies on Wednesday night
14 December 2017, 04:03 | Tara Lloyd
How to see one of New Zealand's best meteor showers of the year
While Gemini season was from May 21 through June 20, people born under the zodiac sign will be happy to know their constellation is giving them a second chance to shine this year. Tonight's meteor shower is a result of dust left behind from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.
The Geminids meteor shower is set to peak in the early morning hours of Thursday, although you may be able to catch some "shooting stars" Wednesday night, too. The largest number of meteors will be visible between midnight and 4 a.m. local time.
The spectacular light show is set to illuminate the sky this year on its annual arrival.
Meteor showers don't require binoculars or telescopes to view - just your eyes. If you're watching under a clear and dark sky, Sky & Telescope magazine predicts you could see a meteor every minute or two on average. And this year, they'll be even easier to spot.
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"With August's Perseids obscured by bright moonlight, the Geminids will be the best shower this year", said Bill Cooke with NASA's meteoroid environment office. With the past few meteor showers, a full or almost full moon has not made for the best viewing conditions. It will be cool, but sky conditions will be fantastic for viewing the meteor shower. The scientist has tips for how to know whether what you're seeing is meant to be part of the show or not.
But the National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky, said a cold front will be sweeping through the Tri-State after 8 p.m. this evening, bringing low-level clouds. Not sure where the constellation is? "Geminids can appear anywhere in the sky, so the best direction to watch is wherever your sky is darkest, which is probably straight up".
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