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Geminid Meteor Shower Expected to Light Up US Skies

The Geminid meteor shower, an eagerly awaited astronomical event, is set to offer a spectacular display across U.S. skies, with favorable weather conditions enhancing the experience.

Astronomers predict this year’s Geminid meteor shower to be one of the best cosmic shows in recent years, with mostly clear to partly cloudy skies expected over much of the United States.

“The forecast looks very favorable, and that is everything,” said Bart Fried, executive vice president of the Amateur Astronomers Association in New York.

Shooting Stars from 3200 Phaethon

Originating from the debris of the 3200 Phaethon asteroid, the meteor shower is expected to peak on Wednesday night. Fried notes that in some areas, up to 120 meteors per hour could streak across the sky.

Fried advises that the best time for viewing will be between 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday and 1 a.m. on Thursday.

He emphasizes, “Do not bother with binoculars or telescopes. This is absolutely a naked-eye event.” A new moon coinciding with the peak will enhance the visibility.

Location Suggestions for Stargazers

For the best view, Fried recommends finding a location with a clear horizon, like a park or beach, away from light pollution. In places with bright city lights, such as New York City, fewer meteors may be visible.

Several Long Island state parks, including Jones Beach State Park and Robert Moses State Park, will remain open for night viewing. The National Weather Service forecasts mostly clear skies over New York and the Eastern Seaboard.

Considered one of the year’s most reliable meteor showers, the Geminids occur every December as Earth passes through the debris trail of 3200 Phaethon. The meteors, named for the constellation Gemini, create a brilliant spectacle as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

With information from ABC News.

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