MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Floridians, get ready to look up to the sky Sunday night.
The 2020 Geminid meteor shower is expected to produce the greatest number of meteors Sunday night, Dec. 13.
“What’s great about this year is that we will have a dark sky,” said CBS4 Meteorologist Dave Warren.
On a dark night you may be able to see close to 50 meteors an hour possibly more. You may be able to see a few meteors in the late evening once the sun goes down (5:32 PM at Miami). However, the best viewing time will be around 2 a.m. early Monday morning.
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The meteors are called the Geminids because they appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini. You can find this by looking to the left of Orion. Gemini will be high in the sky after midnight Sunday.
Around this time every year, Earth, in its orbit around the sun, passes through the orbital path of another object. It’s called 3200 Phaethon, and is an asteroid with a comet-like tail. Debris from that object burns up high in Earth’s atmosphere giving us the annual Geminid meteor shower.
Don’t expect to see a constant series of meteors. Showers like this one often come in waves, so plan to spend at least an hour gazing at the sky to have a good chance of seeing a few meteors. A dark sky like the one overnight will help as well as getting away from city lights.
Take some time to observe this yearly phenomenon Sunday night. All that’s need now is a clear sky.
“The forecast is for clouds and a few showers to develop in the afternoon but they should be clearing once the sun goes down,” said Warren.