Large meteor shower to appear in Chicago area next week. Here's how to get the best view

How to

One of the biggest meteor showers of the year is just a few days away, and those in the Chicago area may get a chance for a phenomenal view.

The “Geminids” is predicted to peak in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Dec. 13 and Thursday, Dec. 14.

On those days, the best viewing time will be between midnight and 6 a.m., though residents may be able to see some of the shower prior to midnight as well.

The meteors radiate from the constellation “Gemini” which is in the western sky after midnight.

The Geminids meteor shower differs from many others in that it’s produced by an asteroid rather than a comet. This leads to slightly brighter meteors that do not produce trails as they do when derived from comet debris.

Due to a new moon on Dec. 12, the moon will not be out during the peak of the shower, and more meteors may be visible. As many as 100 to 120 meteors per hour are possible.

The Geminids shower will be followed by the Ursids meteor shower during the morning hours of Friday, Dec. 22 and Saturday, Dec. 23.

This shower will likely only draw five to 10 meteors per hour, with a nearly full moon also complicating any potential views of the shower.

The Quadrantids shower will then head toward the Chicago in January, and is expected to peak on Thursday, Jan. 4. This shower could bring as few as 40 and as many as 100 meteors per hour, and will appear near the Big Dipper in the northeast sky in the early morning hours.

Here are some tips on how to get the best view for the upcoming meteor showers.

  • Check the NBC 5 app for hourly sky conditions
  • Get away from city lights
  • Give your eyes 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness
  • Use your peripheral vision to locate objects in the sky
  • Bring all the blankets

Keep in mind these meteors are still visible outside of their peak dates, as meteor showers often last for weeks around their peaks.

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