Peak hours for viewing Geminid meteor shower will occur overnight

Peak times for viewing the Geminid meteor shower are overnight on Wednesday, Dec. 11 into the early morning hours of Thursday, Dec. 12/Matt Mackie (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The Geminid meteor shower will brighten up the night sky as it peaks overnight on Wednesday, Dec. 11 through the early morning hours of Thursday, Dec. 12.

This particular meteor shower occurs around the same time every year, but viewing conditions in 2016 were not as good as they are expected to be this year due to light interference from a supermoon.

This year however, there is only a thin crescent moon, making light conditions better for watching the meteor shower.

Other factors contributing to good viewing conditions are the dry and cool weather patterns occurring right now.

The Geminid meteor shower originates from an asteroid that orbits the sun. During this process, it heats up and debris breaks off of it. The particles then follow the asteroid, trailing its orbit.

During this time of year, the Earth's orbit passes through that cloud of debris. As those particles enter the Earth's atmosphere, the debris travels so quickly that it burns up, which is the light seen moving across the sky during the meteor shower.

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