The biggest meter shower of the year will peak this weekend, putting on a pretty spectacular show as the Geminids shoot across the sky.
The Geminid meteor shower is considered to be one of the best meteor showers, and it is called the "King of Meteor Showers" as it can produce over a hundred meteors per hour.
These Geminids are important for a number of reasons, including the fact that we could be able to track them as coming from an extinct comet. An extinct comet is one that has simply stopped going as fast as it once did, still following the same path but no longer showing a tail.
NASA posted on its own Tumblr page five fun facts for the Geminid meteor shower which will happen this year. The space agency says that the makeup of the Geminids means that they can more easily penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, which will result in bright arcs for as long as two seconds in the sky.
The brightness of the Geminids may also lead to apparent colors, which will depend on their chemical composition. For example, the Geminids will mostly be white or yellow, with a little of purple, red or blue. The celestial show will show off meteors viewable for up to two seconds after they have broken off the 3200 Phaethon asteroid, penetrating the Earth's atmosphere.
Unfortunately for those staying in the United States, the weather forecast for Sunday is mostly overcast. However, you should definitely check your local forecast, and if it's clear near you, try and get away from city lights for a few hours to check out the event yourself.
For those who are in an overcast area, you can still watch the show on the Slooh observatory website on Sunday evening starting at 8 p.m. EST, Dec. 13 and continuing toward the morning of Monday, Dec. 14.
Photo : Anthony Quintano | Flickr