Time to break out the hot chocolate and bundle up for a long night. Tonight is the peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower (BBC News). This year should be even better since it coincides with the new moon. This is definitely worth braving the cold!

Take a look at UniverseToday’s map (below)…the red X marks the spot where the meteors will originate. Even if you can’t find the spot, keep your eyes on the east/northeast sky and you’re likely to catch the action. You might have 10 minutes without anything, but you might have 10 minutes with 30 meteors. Keep in mind a lot of your visibility can be affected by air and light pollution. Here’s Visual Astronomy’s tips on getting around that.

geminids-580x397Best times to be watching the sky is from twilight until the wee hours. 2pm is predicted (EarthSky) to be the best local time (anywhere you live) since it marks the point where Gemini is directly overhead of your location.

If you’d rather stay inside, NASA will be airing the shower live on their Ustream channel from Marshall Spaceflight Center (starting at dusk) as well as answering questions LIVE (starting 11pm EST) via NASA chat.

And if you’re a stargazing buff, check out the International Meteor Organization for all the boring data like vectors and radiants.

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