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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Look up! The Geminid meteor shower is peaking for the next two days so you may be able to see a beautiful show of green fireballs on Thursday and Friday. This will be the last and strongest meteor shower of the year, according to NASA.
This phenomenon was first recorded in 1862 and causes a show each December.
WHEN: Peaks Thursday night and early Friday (pre-dawn). Ideal time from midnight through 4 a.m. Friday.
WHERE: Lie back and look up! Preferably with a clear view of the sky and very little light pollution. You may want to face south, toward the constellation Gemini.
FORECAST: Unfortunately the viewing may not be terrific in South Florida because clouds and showers will be increasing overnight Thursday and into the weekend.
MORE DETAILS: This has the potential to be the best meteor shower of the year! The moon will set around 10:30 pm, leaving the sky nice and dark. By 2 a.m. on Friday the constellation Gemini will be almost directly overhead and predictions are for as many as 60-120 meteors per hour! The Geminids are also slower and denser than many of the other meteor showers, meaning perhaps a longer streak across the sky.
Did you know there’s also a comet wowing stargazers this month.
It’s called Comet 46P/Wirtanen
WHEN: Closest to Earth on December 16th, but dimly visible already (best viewed with binoculars or telescope).
WHERE: Looking to the east, to the right of constellations Orion and Taurus.
MORE DETAILS: This is the closest pass by a comet to the Earth this year and the 10th closest approach since 1950 (getting as close as about 7 million miles). In order to see with the naked eye, you will need to view in an area with very little or no light pollution, again best with binoculars or telescope. It will continue to be within viewing range through the end of the month.