This week's incarnation of the annual Geminid meteor shower should be particularly awe-inspiring, reports National Geographic, because it coincides with dark, moonless sky for the first time since 1996. Skywatchers can expect at least 110 meteors per minute, with the best viewing on Thursday and Friday. The peak will be on Friday at 11:45pm EST.
"Since the August Perseid shower has been declining the last couple of decades, the Geminids are now the best annual meteor shower," says a researcher. Most meteor showers occur when Earth passes through a cloud of debris left by comets, which is attracted by the planet's gravity and burns up in the atmosphere. The Geminids are thought to come from an extinct comet.