Foothills residents will hope for clear skies as the 2022 Geminid meteor shower will peak this week in Southern Alberta.
This annual event will peak overnight on December 13 and 14 as Earth crosses the debris field of asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Residents could be able to witness as many as 120 meteors per hour. But with a bright moon this year, we may just see a show of shooting stars.
For prime viewing, find an area away from town glow and streetlights, bundle up for winter weather conditions, bring a blanket or sleeping bag for extra comfort, lie flat on your back with your feet facing south, and look up. It will take approximately 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust and see the meteors. Refrain from looking at your cell phone or other bright objects to keep your eyes adjusted.
The show will last for most of the night, so you have multiple opportunities to spot the brilliant streaks of light across our sky.
Phaethon orbits the Sun every 1.4 years, and every year Earth passes through its trail of debris, resulting in the Geminids Shower.