The stars have aligned for this weekend’s peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower. Now let’s hope that the weather aligns as well.
Skywatchers rank December’s Geminids alongside August’s Perseids as the year’s highlights for meteor shows. Under peak conditions, sharp-eyed observers can see two meteors a minute. NASA notes that the shooting stars are bright and fast, and tend to be yellow in color.
But the strength of the show is highly dependent on viewing conditions. In some years, the moon’s glare washes out the night sky so that few meteor streaks stand out.
One of the few good things about 2020 is that the moon won’t interfere this year. It’s nearly a new moon, which means skywatchers will see only a thin crescent that rises in the east just before dawn.