geminid meteor shower 2021

This is how to get the best glimpse of the Geminid meteor shower from Toronto

The best of the Geminid meteor shower is set to take over the night skies this week, marking the last major celestial event of its kind in 2021.

Known for putting on a spectacular show, the Geminids are fully visible from Toronto, and peak on Monday night when earth passes through the most rocky part of the meteoroid debris coming off of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.

During the event, bits of the debris orbiting the giant chunk of cosmic rock make their way through our upper atmosphere, streaking across the sky in an array of colours near the constellation (and the show's namesake) Gemini.

Though the shower has technically already been taking place for a few weeks, tonight marks its busiest night, meteor-wise, with potentially hundreds per hour flying across the sky, though a bright moon will mean closer to 50 visible to the naked eye.

So if you're in a good spot at the right time and are looking up, you could get a chance to see one shooting star per minute or so.

Experts advise seeking out clear skies free of cloud cover and light pollution, of course, to get the best view. This means getting north of the city and somewhere more rural, if possible — the shores of a large, remote body of water or somewhere in a provincial park would be ideal.

Also, somewhere open where you're able to see the entire sky free from obstructions like buildings will help make the show one to remember.

The best time to view Geminids meteors, according to The Weather Network, is the few hours just after midnight on the morning of Dec. 14, and also around or after 3 a.m., when the moon sets and stops stealing the spotlight.

(Still, the Geminids are known to be so bold and start so early after nightfall that you can view them throughout the night until dawn and from almost anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.)

It is also crucial to be patient, giving your eyes time to adjust to the darkness and the meteors time to make their way through the atmosphere.

Make sure to avoid the temptation of checking your devices or looking at any light source at all — just sit back, relax, look up and take in the show.

And, while you're watching, you may also be able to catch a glimpse of Comet Leonard, which was closest to earth on Sunday but will still be visible into January 2022.

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