The Geminid Meteor Shower Is Now Active In Illinois’ Night Skies
The Geminid Meteor Showers got rolling in our part of the solar system on November 19th, and they'll be all wrapped up by Christmas Eve, but in-between now and December 24th, you should be able to get several viewings of a really cool sky show.
The Geminids are usually one of the best meteor showers of the year, capable of producing 150 or more meteors per hour at a dark site. Another really cool aspect is that the meteors are often bright and colorful.
The Best Chances Of Seeing The Geminids Will Be Over The Next 2 Weeks And A Bit Beyond
Wanting to give you plenty of time to plan ahead for late night/early morning viewing, I thought I'd give you the heads-up on the Geminids a week or so before they're getting ready to hit what's called their "peak." Depending on where you live, you might want to get away from city lights for the best views.
The bold, white, bright Geminids give us one of the Northern Hemisphere’s best showers, in years when there’s no moon. They’re also visible, at lower rates, from the Southern Hemisphere. The meteors are plentiful, rivaling the August Perseids.
You Should Be Able To See Some Meteors Now, And For Almost The Entire Next Month
After all, the peak of the Geminids is on December 13th going into the 14th, but that's not the entire show. There's a pretty good buildup to the finale, and you might be able to see some of the streaks going across the sky tonight and going forward.
Best of all, you won't need any special equipment to see the Geminids, other than some warm clothing because the forecast says it's going to be cold while you're out looking up. Just give yourself an hour or more to take in the views. That way, your eyes will be fully adjusted to the dark conditions.
All you need to watch a meteor shower is your eyes, patience, and a mostly cloud-free night. Go out, get comfortable, and stare at the sky. Typically the best time to see a meteor shower is between midnight and pre-dawn, because that's when you are on the leading side of the Earth, watching the comet debris come at you like rain hitting a car windshield.
Here's some cool footage a guy grabbed up in Norway last year: