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Geminid meteor shower reaching annual peak

The Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak over the next couple of nights, bringing the best chance of the year to see "shooting stars".

The best night is expected to be Friday night into early Saturday morning, with the most meteors being visible after midnight. But the Geminids are one meteor shower that can also be seen before midnight because Gemini, the constellation that they appear to emanate from, is in the night sky relatively early, according to the American Meteor Society.

"The Geminids are often bright and intensely colored," according to the AMS. "Due to their medium-slow velocity, persistent trains are not usually seen."

Moonlight could outshine some of the smaller meteors, as the moon is waxing toward the coming Full Cold Moon on Tuesday. But many should be large enough to be seen, nevertheless.

As many as 50 meteors per hour could be visible, according to EarthSky.org.  It's best to look in an area with an unobstructed view of the sky, far from light pollution of the city.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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