The Best Meteor Shower of the Year Is About to Peak
Look up on the night between December 13 and 14 for up to 120 meteors per hour.
It's finally time. The reigning king (or queen!) of meteor showers is finally here, and it's about to peak with hundreds of meteors in the night.
The Geminid meteor shower is arguably the most famous and iconic display of shooting stars in a calendar year, and they always fall sometime in December. It's almost as if it was a last "hurrah" to the old year—a party with natural fireworks, in a way!
According to EarthSky, this year, the much-awaited meteor shower is expected to peak on the night between December 13 and 14, and we should be in for a special treat. Thanks to the moon being in its waxing crescent phase, there won't be much light pollution on its part. Therefore, if you locate yourself in a place that is dark enough, you won't have to worry about some moonlight interfering with your meteor-watching experience, and you could even catch up to 120 meteors per hour during peak times.
In terms of when is the absolute best time to catch those shooting stars, you should plan to stay up late. Because the radiant is set to rise in the mid-evening, it will be at its highest point (and therefore best for viewing) around 2 am (local time, for all time zones). And even if this is a Northern Hemisphere-centered phenomenon, even those located in the Southern Hemisphere will have a chance of catching a few Geminids.
Now that the details are set, let's take care of some housekeeping, shall we? As it always goes with meteor showers, you should pick the darkest possible location available for the best viewing experience. To do so, you can check out this map to find the nearest Dark Site or this other map to seek out a spot with very low light pollution.
Next, don't worry about equipment—your own eyes are good enough. Do, however, allow around 30 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the dark before you start seeing some meteors. NASA also recommends you get comfortable and cozy. Lay flat on your back and bring a blanket or a sleeping bag with you. Then you're all set. Happy stargazing!