Geminid meteor shower ramps up Friday night

December 11, 2013 by Marcia Dunn
In this Thursday night Dec. 13, 2012 file photo, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Geminid meteor shower over Springville, Ala. The annual Geminids meteor shower - the most intense of the year - will peak Friday night, Dec. 13, 2013. But the best viewing may be early Saturday, once the moon sets. (AP Photo/, Mark Almond)

It's time for the December sky show.

The annual Geminids (JEM'-i-nids) meteor shower—the most intense of the year—will peak Friday night. But the best viewing may be early Saturday, once the moon sets. Between 100 and 120 meteors are expected every hour at peak time. But scientists say the bright moon will interfere and reduce the number of visible meteors by half. That's why the best shot for viewing will be closer to dawn on Saturday.

The Geminids come from a small asteroid named 3200 Phaethon, which passes quite close to the sun. Its trail of dust and debris is what makes up the Geminids. Earth passes through this stream of debris every December.

The meteor shower extends from Thursday through Monday.

Explore further: The 2009 Geminid Meteor Shower (w/ Video)

More information: NASA:

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