” The Geminid meteor shower of 2014 will peak overnight on Dec. 13 and 14, but the shower as a whole is active between Dec. 4 and Dec. 17. NASA is predicting between 100 and 120 meteors per hour for observer’s with optimum observing conditions (dark, clear skies away from city lights). Several webcasts by NASA, Slooh and others are available to watch the meteors. The best time to begin looking for Geminid meteors will be about 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. your local time, since the last quarter moon will rise around midnight.
The Geminids are a meteor shower that happens every December. NASA says astronomers consider it one of the “best and most reliable” showers of the year, but the shower actually did not start occurring until very recently (in astronomical and human terms).
First reports of the shower emerged in the mid-1800s, but at the time there were only 10-20 meteors per hour. These days, it’s more like 120 meteors at the peak.
Astronomers are puzzled about the number of meteors observed. While scientists have known for a generation about the source of the shower – an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon – the volume of the shower’s meteors is strange given the observed amount of debris.
The Geminids appear to come from the constellation Gemini, but in reality it is fragments of 3200 Phaethon that cause the sky fireworks. The asteroid has a debris trail in orbit around the sun. Once a year, Earth runs into this dusty path, which intersects our planet’s path through space.”
” Those who do not have suitable viewing conditions for the Geminid Meteor Shower’s peak can view Slooh’s live broadcast of the event below, which is set to air on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 8:00 p.m. EST.”
The event will broadcast from two locations beginning with Slooh’s flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics, Canary Islands, and later from Prescott, Arizona, at Prescott Observatory.”
” The Geminids are very strange because they hit Earth sideways,” Berman said. “These meteors hit us gently. While Summer’s Perseids strike Earth at 37 miles per second, that’s amazingly fast, and the Leonids are even a little bit faster, hitting us at just over 40 miles a second, these Geminids hit us at only 22 miles a second.” “