Mark your calendar: The best meteor shower of 2007 peaks on Friday, December 14th.
(That’s tonight actually, because the peak is after midnight, though the show starts around 10 p.m., again according to space.com.)
If you plan to watch this year’s Geminid meteor shower, you’ll want clear, dark skies, ideally away from city lights (though I consistently see meteors from my back yard, fairly close to my city’s small downtown). Nature is not cooperating here in Asheville this year, where’s it’s misty, drizzly and gray, and I am disgustedly sitting this shower out.
From my local radio observatory, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute:
The Geminid Meteor Shower is one of the more reliable showers and we should see some Geminids for a couple of mornings before the 14th and a morning or two afterwards. Successful observing of the Geminids can start as early as 10 p.m. and continue until dawn as the constellation of Gemini the twins rises higher in the sky. One should observe from a clear, dark location with a good horizon. Look high in the northeast for meteors appearing to radiate out of Gemini.
PARI also notes, interestingly, that this shower is not the result of cometary debris (which I thought was the cause of all meteor showers). This one’s from the dust traces left by an asteroid, 3200 Phaethon.