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Meteor shower to peak Monday night into early Tuesday morning, NASA says

Geminids meteor shower
Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 14:34:15-05

Early Tuesday morning may be the best chance to wish upon a shooting star ahead of the holidays.

According to NASA, the Geminid meteor shower will peak late Monday night into early Tuesday morning.

NASA says the showers are caused by debris from a celestial object known to scientists as 3200 Phaethon. Scientists aren't sure if 3200 Phaethon is a comet or an asteroid, but either way, the deep space object puts on quite the show every year.

Since the 1800s, the Geminid meteor shower has regularly been visible to Earth in the winter. According to NASA, under perfect conditions, observers may be able to spot as many as 120 meteors per hour.

The Geminids are visible to people all over Earth, but they're best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. If the weather is clear, the meteor shower will be visible starting at 9 p.m., but NASA says the show will peak at the 2 a.m. hour no matter where a person is watching.

NASA says those who want to watch the meteor shower should head outside Monday night or Tuesday morning with a sleeping bag or blanket and lie flat on the ground while taking in as much as the sky as possible. The agency says it may take about 30 minutes for the eyes to adjust to the darkness, but meteors should be visible afterward.

While the Geminids peak Monday into Tuesday, NASA adds that they should be visible until about Dec. 17.