The Geminid meteor shower is well underway, and if you’ve been missing the nightly light show overhead, don’t worry because the best is still to come.
The Geminids can be seen every year as Earth passes through a trail of meteors and debris left by 3200 Phaeton, which is either an extinct comet or an asteroid, according to NASA, though scientists aren’t sure which.
Either way, the bits and pieces left behind burn up brightly in Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in “the best annual meteor shower a stargazer can see,” lasting from Dec. 4 to Dec. 17, NASA says.
But this year is particularly special as the shower’s peak will coincide with a new moon — basically the opposite of a full moon — meaning darker skies, and clearer viewing of the meteors streaking overhead.
So when is the best time to look up?
This Sunday night, and early morning Monday, experts say, with the absolute zenith expected at 2 a.m. local time.
Thanks to the new moon, even some of the faintest meteors should be visible
An average of 60 meteors per hour, or one meteor per minute, will come shooting across the night sky for viewers in the Northern hHemisphere, according to NASA
It could even be possible to see up to 150 meteors per hour, CNET reports, provided conditions are perfect.
Don’t worry too much about where to look, as meteors should be popping up all over, according to NASA.
There’s no telescopes or special equipment needed to enjoy the Geminids: Just get somewhere dark with few visual obstructions, and allow half an hour or so to fully adjust to the lighting.