Geminid meteor shower will be at peak tonight

While British Columbians are still settling in and prepping for the spectacular Geminid meteor shower, other parts of the world have already had their show.

Though Phaethon's orbit around the Sun takes 1.4 years, Earth passes through Phaethon's river of debris every December, which ultimately produces the attractive Geminid shower we have grown to know and love.

This is anticipated to be the best meteor shower of the year. Last year, a super moon greatly interfered with the viewing of this event because the moonlight was so bright it overshadowed any meteors.

The Geminids should reach their peak in the overnight hours between Wednesday and Thursday, with the absolute best rates expected at 4 a.m. ET Thursday, when the radiant point - the Gemini constellation - is highest in the sky, Cooke added.

She said: "We are in luck this year as the moon will be a thin waning crescent during the peak and will not rise until a few hours before dawn on the 14th".

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This year the Geminid meteor shower is, as predicted by NASA, to be at its maximum at around 2 am on December 14.

This particular meteor show is called the Geminids because it seems to radiate from the constellation of Gemini.

The Geminid meteor shower is associated with the near-Earth object 3200 Phaethon, which is an asteroid.

Meteors are streaks of light caused by small pieces of debris left behind by comets or asteroids that heat up the air around them as they pass through the Earth's atmosphere. The night sky will be the best canvas to see this on. If you're going to look at a meteor shower, dress up, and look at this one.

Tonight's meteor shower can be seen with the naked eye and is best viewed under clear dark skies.

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The flawless time to view this shower will be between 7:30 PM on December 13th until the early morning of December 14th.

"The Geminid meteor shower is almost 200 years old, according to known records - the first recorded observation was in 1833 from a riverboat on the Mississippi River - and is still going strong".

Allow your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness and then just keep your eyes peeled for any meteors streaking through the skies.

For stargazers not willing to fearless the cold, Space.com will be airing a live broadcast of the Geminids, courtesy of NASA, beginning at 5:40 p.m.

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