Best meteor shower of the year: Geminid's multi-colored shooting stars to light up sky Sunday

Stargazing alert: The last -- and best -- meteor shower of 2020 peaks Sunday night into Monday morning!

The Geminid meteor shower is normally the most active meteor shower of the year, boasting up to 120 meteors per hour, according to AccuWeather.

This year, the shower's happening on a moonless night, meaning many shooting stars will be visible if skies are clear. In 2019, the Geminids had to compete with a nearly full moon.

This is one of the few showers that's active in the evening, so it's great for young stargazers. The best viewing, however, will be after midnight.

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December astronomy highlights include the best meteor shower of the year and Jupiter and Saturn's rare "great conjunction."



The shower, comprised of debris coming from Asteroid 3200 Phaethon, is known both for its quantity and the bright, multi-colored meteors it produces.

The Geminids are named after Gemini, as they appear to originate from the constellation. Yet no need to know where Gemini is -- meteors will be visible across the sky.

To get the most out of your Geminids-viewing experience, find an area away from city and street lights, bring clothing to keep you comfortable in colder winter weather, and also bring something comfortable to sit or lie down on.

While binoculars and telescopes are usually helpful in seeing the night sky, NASA suggests you leave these at home when watching meteor showers. "Using either reduces the amount of sky you can see at one time, lowering the odds that you'll see anything but darkness. Instead, let your eyes hang loose and don't look in any one specific spot. Relaxed eyes will quickly zone in on any movement up above, and you'll be able to spot more meteors."

If you do need to use a light to get around in the dark, NASA suggests using a red light, as cell phones and other light sources impair night vision. "Some flashlights have handy interchangeable filters. If you don't have one of those, you can always paint the clear filter with red fingernail polish."

Finally, be patient. It can take up to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, according to AccuWeather.
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