As earth passes through the massive dusty cloud trailing a three-mile-wide space rock, the nighttime sky will light up with shooting stars on Wednesday.

The Geminid meteor shower occurs every December but this year will be an especially brilliant show. A waning crescent moon will cast dim light, allowing the meteors to pop as they dance across dark skies. It’s easiest to spot if you look in the sky above Orion (identifiable from the three stars in its “belt.”)

“It could be the best meteor shower of the year,” says Gerald McKeegan, an astronomer at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland. “The moon is going to be very favorable. If you’re in a really dark location, you could see as many as 100 meteors per hour. But you won’t see that much in the city because we have a lot of light pollution.”

The Geminid meteor shower will put on a dazzling show for skywatchers when it peaks overnight on Dec. 13-14.

McKeegan says the shower will peak between Wednesday at 11 p.m. and Thursday at 3 a.m.


To get credit for this event, you must go out and observe the Geminid Meteor shower, then leave a comment on this post with THREE factoids about the Geminids.

The astronomy Merit Badge program is kinda complicated. There are several levels. Each level consists of 5 event badges. You get points for each event, and every five events get you a merit badge with a bunch of bonus points. The number of points awarded for each event and merit badge increases with each level.)


1st event: stargazer1

2nd event: stargazer2

3rd event: stargazer3

4th event: stargazer4

5th event: stargazer5

REDEMPTION CODE for full-fledged merit badge after observing 5 events: starstruck

6th event: stargazer6

7th event: stargazer7

8th event: stargazer8

9th event: stargazer9

10th event: stargazer10

Expert Astronomer Merit Badge: expertastronomer

11th event: stargazer11

12th event: stargazer12

13th event: stargazer13

14th event: stargazer14

15th event: stargazer15

Galileo Expert Astronomer Merit Badge: galileo