Skywatchers will have an opportunity to catch a “shooting star” as an annual meteor shower is set to peak early Sunday morning.
The Geminids are an annual meteor shower that typically peaks in mid-December. The meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Gemini which the meteors appear to come from. This year’s meteor shower is expected to peak in the early morning hours of Dec. 14, with as many as 100-120 meteors per hour, according to NASA.
“Geminids are pieces of debris from an object called 3200 Phaethon. Long thought to be an asteroid, Phaethon is now classified as an extinct comet,” NASA said in a statement. “Basically it is the rocky skeleton of a comet that lost its ice after too many close encounters with the sun.”
NASA and the Slooh Community Observatory will be providing live webcasts of the meteor shower for those unable to view it due to poor weather or light pollution. Slooh’s live coverage begins at 8 p.m. EST on Dec. 13. NASA’s live webcast will begin at 11 p.m. EST on Dec. 13 and end at 3 a.m. EST on Dec. 14.