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How to view the 2011 Geminids meteor shower

first_imgStargazers, astronomy buffs, and others who just like seeing cool stuff will want to look to the heavens tonight. The annual Geminid meteor shower will be at its peak this evening, and we have tips for you to make the most of it.The Geminids is a meteor shower which originated from the 3200 Phaeton asteroid. Its known for its relatively slow-moving meteors, and for being one of the only showers that didn’t come from a comet. The Geminids have been observed for the last 150 years, making it a much more recent occurrence than the Perseids or Leonids showers.Tonight’s edition of the Geminid shower has to compete with an 89% full moon, so this year won’t give us perfect viewing conditions. But your timing can give you the best possible odds.Both this evening (December 13) and tomorrow will be the best nights to see Gemenid, with tonight being the better of the two. You can catch the show anytime between 10pm local time and sunrise, but for most of us (in the US and the Americas), the best time to break out the binoculars will be at around 4am local time. You can confirm the peak times for your specific area by using NASA’s Fluxtimator tool; just be sure to adjust the dropdown menus accordingly.The meteors will be originating near the Gemini constellation. Android users can use Google Sky Map to easily find Gemini, but it isn’t necessary; seeking out the origin point is no more necessary with a meteor shower than it is with sunlight. For the best view, the smartest place to look will be wherever the moon isn’t.More at io9last_img read more

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