Eyes in the sky: Weekend meteor shower on

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Google, through its doodle, has reminded us that we must not miss this annual celestial event, which NASA says, are most "prolific" and "reliable" meteor showers of the year. But some meteors will be visible even in the evening hours, by about 9 p.m., and for a few days before the shower's peak.

According to Sky & Telescope, the Geminids are set to peak at 7:30 a.m. EST (1130 GMT) on December 14, when Earth plunges through the thickest part of the trail of dust and debris left behind by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon as it orbits the sun.

As Joe Rao explains on Space.com, the Geminids are relatively slow-moving meteors.

As the night will be chilly one, with Berkeley expecting to reach a low of 49 degrees, meteor watchers are encouraged to dress accordingly.

While you may see some Geminids after sunset, the best time to watch for them is in the hours just before dawn on Friday.

The Perseids in summer result in around 80 per hour again with bright meteors but with plenty of trains, the long streaks across the skies. First discovered via satellite data 35 years ago, it has a wildly eccentric orbit, quite unlike most asteroids, which brings the object closer to the sun than Mercury.

The 46P/Wirtnanen comet, which is about 3/4 of a mile long, should move across the sky the morning of December 16, according to NASA, and binoculars or a telescope will help you get a better view.

The Geminid meteor shower runs from Dec. 4 to Dec. 16, but it peaks on the night of Dec. 13-14.

"The meteor shower is visible the whole day but the actual visibility starts from the night and continues throughout".

The 3200 Phaethon orbits the Earth every 1.4 years and comes ever-so-close to earth, at about 150 million kilometres, and that's what makes this light show one of the most spectacular. However, they can appear nearly anywhere in the night sky, and often appear yellowish in hue. A large field is ideal because you can then let your eyes roam across the whole sky.

It is possible to see on average two meteors a minute if the sky is dark and cloudless, and you gaze towards where the Geminids originate. This shower is called "Geminid" because it is named after the constellation 'Gemini'which is where the meteors seem to emerge, it is believed.

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