Geminid meteor shower: How and when to watch this week

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It is going to be an exciting night for stargazers around the globe as the year's most extraordinary cosmic display is set to illuminate the sky brightly on December 14 (Friday). This video shows you the meteors that shot across the skies in Daytona Beach, Florida. There is no need of any special gear to watch this celestial event and all that one has to do is to find a dark place, and look up at the sky. As per a famous space website, these Geminids encounter Earth at around 35 km/second. "The dust and grit burn up when they run into Earth's atmosphere in a flurry of 'shooting stars, '" according to NASA.

When can this be seen? .

This year, the Geminids peak overnight between Thursday and Friday (December 13 and 14). "It was astronomer Fred Whipple who realized that Phaethon is the source for the Geminid meteors".

Wichita is in a pretty good spot to view the meteor shower, provided some forecasted light cloud coverage Thursday evening subsides.

Peaks Thursday night and early Friday (pre-dawn).

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This year, the meteor shower should be bright because the moon sets earlier around 10:30 p.m. local time so the moonlight won't fade out the meteors.

The Geminids are unusual in that they are not shed by a classic icy comet but a body that shares characteristics of both comets and asteroids.

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The Geminids are said to put on a show that rivals that of the Perseid meteor shower which happens in August. The really cool aspect of this meteor shower is that at least 120 meteors are produced in an hour.

The streaks you'll see are actually debris soaring behind the rocky object 3200 Phaethon, which circles the sun every 1.4 years.

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While it may appear as though the Geminids originate from the constellation they get their name from, they should be visible across the sky, according to NASA.

While you're keeping an eye out for the meteor shower, you might see a small, foggy green patch in the sky, NASA said.

"Lie flat on your back and look straight up, taking in as much sky as possible".

For those planning to courageous the freezing winter mornings to watch this year's final celestial show, here are some tips from experts.

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