2013 Geminid Meteor Shower: Sky Display Peak Begins December 13, Thick Clouds and Bright Gibbous Moon To Obstruct Viewing Experience?

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | December 12, 2013 4:31 PM EST

The 2013 Geminid meteor shower peak activity begins Friday night, December 13, and could last for several nights. However, the sky watchers may experience some viewing problems due to the appearance of thick clouds and the bright Gibbous Moon.

"Peak activity of the Geminids this year is on the nights of December 13th and 14th. On that Friday and Saturday night, the central Gulf Coast may have thick clouds, preventing much of a view. Some meteors will be visible on nights before and after those. In other parts of the world where it is not cloudy, a bright gibbous moon will wash out much of the sky this weekend," the WKRG report reads.

To best view the Geminid meteor shower, spectators are recommended to stay away from bright lights with rural areas as the best location or try viewing the sky display when the Moon is not too bright. "120 Geminid meteors can be seen per hour. The Geminids are bright and fast meteors and tend to be yellow in color. Geminids are also known for their fireball meteors," National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stated.

"Geminid meteors appear to fall from near the star Castor. They are debris from an asteroid called Phaethon. The shower recurs each year when Earth passes through this debris strung along Phaethon's orbit around the Sun. The Geminid shower was the first to be linked to an asteroid. Most meteor showers occur when Earth crosses the orbit of a comet," the Stardate.org report reads.

The meteor shower will be occurring close to a Full Moon which means a night sky with the bright Moon will lower the chances of the viewers observing a lot of meteors. The CBS Detroit report suggests viewers should start searching the skies after Friday night's early evening and wait for the display's best time which will take place in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Sky watchers interested in gathering more information while viewing the 2013 Geminid meteor shower can check NASA's live UStream feed that will begin at 11 p.m. on December 13 with experts present during the Web chat. The live feed of the night skies over the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama will be embedded as well in the Ustream feed that will last until 3 a.m. on Saturday.

More Articles to Read:

2013 Geminid Meteor Shower: How and What Time to Best View the Geminid Meteor Shower Peak on Dec. 13 and 14 - [READ]

2013 Comet Lovejoy: Captured Image from Subaru Telescope's Suprime-Cam Clearly Show Comet's Tail - [READ]

2013 Geminid Meteor Shower: Watch for Sky Display on Thursday Night, December 5 with Second Meteor Shower Occurring Simultaneously - [READ]

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