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Meteor Shower Dazzles Central Florida Sky This Week

composite image of the Geminid shower from the vantage point of Johnson Space Center. Photo: NASA/Lauren Harnett

Central Florida star gazers are in for a treat this week as a cosmic light show rolls into the sky.

A nighttime display of shooting stars, called the Geminid meteor shower, will take to the skies this week peaking in the early morning hours Wednesday and Thursday. Each year, the Earth passes through the debris field of a nearby comet causing the cosmic display.

Seminole State College Planetarium Director Derek Demeter says the shower will be a total sky event, so the best way to view the event is to lay down and look up “because you’ll see a meteor behind you, or in front of you, on the side. You definitely want a maximum about of sky visible.”

The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, but Demeter says you’ll see the lights across the entire night sky.

The shower is a yearly event, but a moonless sky this time of year will help viewers see up to 150 shooting stars an hour. “The Gemids produce a really nice potential chance for fireballs – they’re big bright meteors. Usually, if you’re under a really dark sky you can see 100 to 150 an hour,” said Demeter.

The best time to see the meteor shower is between 1:00 – 2:00 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »