Tonight’s nearly full moon is still a visual treat in the night sky, but there’s another light show going on at the same time: the Geminid meteor shower. It’s the second-to-last meteor shower of the year.
A full moon can make meteor showers harder to see, but the Geminids tend to have enough larger, brighter meteors that it’s still worth going out to take a look.
As the name suggests, the Geminid meteors will appear to come from the area of the constellation Gemini, just above and to the left of Orion. These meteors are pieces of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, according to NASA, and on a dark night you’d be able to see about 120 per hour at the shower’s peak. The best time tonight will be around 2 a.m., because that’s when Gemini is highest in the sky.
Because of the full moon, we’re only going to see about 30 per hour, but that’s still worth watching. Find an area with as little light pollution as possible, bundle up, and position yourself so you can see meteors wherever they may occur in the sky. Snuggling up in a sleeping bag is classic.