Sky-watchers Get Set for Cosmic Fireworks Show
Strong Geminid meteor shower predicted this year.
The meteor shower has been growing in intensity in recent decades and should be better than usual this year because it falls during a nearly moonless week.
Dozens of shooting stars per hour should streak across the night sky on the night of December 13 and into the early hours of December 14, making the Geminids one of the strongest and most reliable celestial shows around. (See pictures from 2010: "Brilliant Geminid Meteors Dazzle Sky-Watchers.")
"Usual estimates of yield are between 80 and 120 meteors per hour—under good viewing conditions," said Ben Burress, staff astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.
"Fortunately December 13th is [a] new moon, so there will be no moon at all during