How to watch the Geminid meteor shower Thursday morning

VALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK, NV - DECEMBER 14: A Geminid meteor streaks diagonally across the sky against a field of star trails over one of the peaks of the Seven Sisters rock formation early December 14, 2007 in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The meteor display, known as the Geminid meteor shower because it appears to radiate from near the star Castor in the constellation Gemini, is thought to be the result of debris cast off from an asteroid-like object called 3200 Phaethon. The shower is visible every December. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
VALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK, NV - DECEMBER 14: A Geminid meteor streaks diagonally across the sky against a field of star trails over one of the peaks of the Seven Sisters rock formation early December 14, 2007 in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The meteor display, known as the Geminid meteor shower because it appears to radiate from near the star Castor in the constellation Gemini, is thought to be the result of debris cast off from an asteroid-like object called 3200 Phaethon. The shower is visible every December. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There will be a light show in the sky early Thursday morning — if you either stay up late or get up early enough to see it.

The Geminid meteor shower is making its annual pass near Earth, in what NASA scientists call “the best shower this year.” It will peak between midnight and 4 a.m. Dec. 14 — when people will be able to see about one per minute. There are also less frequent chances for people to see them from sunset Wednesday, Dec. 13, to dawn Dec. 14.

A number of factors make this an ideal time to spot the meteors. This is the closest the Geminid meteor shower will be to Earth since it was discovered in 1983, according to NASA. Additionally, the sky will be darker because of a thin, waning crescent moon.

KXAN Meteorologist David Yeomans says Central Texans’ best way to see them are to get away from light pollution — which for Austinites might mean heading out to the Hill Country. Around midnight the temperature will be near 50 degrees, but drop to 47 degrees by 4 a.m. Skies will also be only partly cloudy.

If anyone misses seeing them this year, the Geminids will return next December when Earth passes through the trail of debris.

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