The annual Geminids meteor shower gets underway tonight. Parts of Missouri are expected to be cloudy tonight, which could impact your viewing.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Dai

Mizzou astronomer Angela Speck says the Geminids gets its name from the constellation called Gemini.

“Gemini is directly opposite where the sun is,” she says. “You can think of it as – it’s rising at sunset and setting at sunrise. That means it’s actually going to be really high and to the south around midnight, which is the time you really want to see.”

Speck says the shooting stars will continue Thursday night, but tonight is the peak show.

“Over the course of an hour, I would expect something like 60 to 100. They’re not coming in like fireworks, and I think that’s something that people often expect. It’s one or two a minute, but it’s going to be clearly visible at one or two a minute,” she says.

Speck suggests getting away from the city lights.

“If you’re going to be going out around midnight and you want to be looking south, then you want to be south of the city that is giving off lots of light so that it’s behind you. That’s somewhat dark, but so you’re not facing towards light – you’re facing away from them,” she says.

No fancy equipment is needed to view the show.

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