NEWS

Geminid Meteor Shower To Peak This Weekend

12/10/2014 05:37 EST | Updated 12/10/2014 05:59 EST

Even space is providing people with a little magic this holiday season.

The Geminid meteor shower is set to peak Saturday night (Dec. 13) and Sunday morning, National Geographic reported.

Meteors will appear to originate in the Gemini constellation, which is located near Orion.

This meteor shower has baffled scientists in the past because, unlike similar phenomena, it doesn't occur when Earth passes through a comet debris field.

Instead, Earth will travel through debris left by 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid or "rock comet" whose gravelly tail results from "thermal fracturing" when it orbits the sun, according to NASA.

No other named asteroid orbits closer to the sun than 3200 Phaethon. Its proximity to the star results in a trail of rocky debris that moves slowly, unlike the quick, icy kind associated with comets, The Weather Network said.

The meteor shower will last from Dec. 4 to 16, but the best time to see it is on Saturday night just before midnight, according to National Geographic.

Like with any meteor shower, your chances of seeing streaking space rocks will improve the further you are from city lights.

The magazine estimates stargazers can see 60 to 100 meteors per hour away from the city, a rate that falls to 20 to 30 meteors per hour in suburbs.

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