One of the most active celestial events of the year, the Geminid meteor shower, will peak Friday, Dec. 13, until dawn on Saturday.
During the peak, this dense and bright meteor shower is known to produce up to 80-120 meteors per hour. The shower can even produce fireballs, or brighter-than-average and longer-lasting shooting stars.
Unfortunately, cloudy skies over much of the country will inhibit viewing conditions for many.
The best places to view the Geminids will be across the Southwest in California, Arizona and New Mexico into parts of Nevada and northwestern Texas.
Due to a disturbance moving through the northern and central Rockies that will create some clouds over the area, those in Salt Lake City, Utah, Yellowstone National Park and areas of Montana will be unable to see the show.
For most of the region east of the Mississippi River, cloudy skies will inhibit the display for stargazers from Pennsylvania westward through Chicago and southwestward to the Gulf.
In addition, the Northwest corner of the nation, including Seattle towards Spokane, Wash., and parts of Oregon, will not catch the performance either due to cloud coverage.
However, northern New England will catch a break from the rest of the Northeast's cloudy conditions. Much of Maine, northern Vermont and northern New Hampshire will be able to catch a glimpse of the action.
Due to the brightness of the moon on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, the best time to view the shower may be before sunrise on Saturday, after the moon has set until the light of dawn, according to AccuWeather Astronomy Expert Gregg McCambley.
However, Gemini will rise above the eastern horizon around 8 p.m. EST Friday, so stargazers should be able to see meteors easily by 9 p.m. EST.
If you're attempting to see the Geminid meteor shower, look toward the northeast in the sky.
While viewing conditions for the peak of the Geminids will not be prime for much of the country, the meteor shower is already underway and will continue past Dec. 13 and 14. As a result, the meteor shower can be viewed as long as skies are clear.
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