By Deborah Netburn
The Los Angeles Times
The Geminid meteor shower peaks on Friday night, and you can watch the show live, right here.
The live broadcast, brought to you courtesy of the website Slooh.com, was slated to start at 2:30 p.m. PST, but there was some weather interference making it difficult for its Canary Island telescope to see anything at all. The site says it will switch to streaming live footage of the shower from a telescope in Chile at 4:30 p.m. PST.
The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most prolific of the big, annual meteor showers, and also one of the strangest. When viewing conditions are ideal, it is possible to see between 100 and 140 meteors per hour. However, this year the Geminid peak coincides with a nearly-full moon. Because the light of the moon will drown out some of the dimmer meteors, sky watchers can expect to see between 40 to 60 meteors tonight.
The best time to see the meteor shower not online is around 4 a.m. after the moon has set but before the sun has started to rise. For the best viewing, get yourself to the darkest sky you can find and remember to give your eyes about 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness.
The Geminid shower occurs each year as the Earth passes through a stream of debris that appears to be left in the wake of a rocky, asteroid-like body called Phaeton 3200. This makes the Geminid meteor shower unusual. Most meteor showers are caused by debris left in the wake of comets.
For more on this Los Angeles Times story, click here.