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Geminid meteor shower to light up the sky

Last Updated Dec 13, 2017 at 8:00 pm PDT

(Courtesy NASA via Twitter)

The Geminid meteor shower is expected to peak late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning

A local astronomer suggests getting away from the city to best view the meteor shower

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Tilt your head skyward if you’ve got a few free minutes late tonight.

“And the Geminids, which originate from the constellation of Gemini, will peak tonight into tomorrow morning,” explains Astronomer Gary Boyle, who calls this the best meteor shower of the year. “And by 1 a.m., when the constellation is high over head, you should see about 120 meteors per hour.”

That frontier will be a busy one from our vantage point. Late tonight into early tomorrow morning is actually the optimal time to watch.

Boyle says it helps the further away you are from a big city. Unlike the Perseid Meteor shower that we saw back in August, he adds these are much easier to see.

Check out NASA’s live feed of the meteor shower below:

“It’s not just the numbers, because we had the same number for the Perseid back in August. With the Geminids, these are slower meteors, the actual fragments are more pea-sized rather than sand-sized. It’s going to be a long, slow, bright meteors. It’s really a not-miss event.”

According to NASA, the Geminid meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through “a massive trail of dusty debris shed by a weird, rocky object named 3200 Phaethon.”

It’s debris burning up once it runs into Earth’s atmosphere that creates the “shooting start” effect.