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How to Watch the Geminids Meteor Shower in California

How to Watch the Geminids Meteor Shower in California

Here's everything you need to know about how to watch the Geminids meteor shower in California. Team


1 min read

December 13, 2023

The Geminids Meteor Shower, a spectacular celestial event, illuminates the winter sky with a dazzling display. Known for its brightness and abundance, the Geminids started in November and will continue through December 24, offering an awe-inspiring view, especially in California's clear skies.

Peak Viewing Time

This year's peak is anticipated at 19:27 UTC on December 14, 2023. However, the evening of December 13 also promises a remarkable experience. The best viewing time in California is after 9 p.m. Pacific Time on December 13, when the shower's radiant point is sufficiently high in the sky. The number of meteors is expected to increase after midnight, reaching a crescendo between midnight and the first light of dawn.

Optimal Conditions

For the optimum viewing experience, find a spot away from city lights to enjoy the shower's full splendor. The Geminids are known for their bright, white trails, and under ideal conditions, stargazers might witness up to 120 meteors per hour, zooming across the sky at a breathtaking 22 miles per second.

2023 is a particularly favorable year for watching the Geminids, as the new moon fell on December 12, ensuring a dark sky for the shower's peak. The lack of moonlight boosts the visibility of the meteors, making even the faintest streaks visible. The radiant point of the shower, which rises in mid-evening, will be highest around 2 a.m., making this the prime time for meteor spotting.

Meteor showers are great opportunities to admire the wonders of the skies.

Viewing Strategy

  1. Dress warmly and bring a reclining chair or a blanket to lie on, as you'll be looking up for an extended period.
  2. Allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness for about 20 to 30 minutes for optimal visibility.
  3. Look towards the radiant point, but also scan the entire sky, as meteors can appear in any part.
  4. Avoid using your phone or any light source, as they can disrupt your night vision.

Overall Duration and Visibility

The Geminids shower is active from November 19 to December 24, giving you ample opportunity to witness this annual event. While they are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere, the Geminids can also be seen from the Southern Hemisphere, albeit at lower rates. So if you travel internationally, you still might be able to catch this astrological wonder.

The Geminids Meteor Shower offers an unmissable opportunity for both avid astronomers and casual stargazers in California. With its bright, fast meteors and favorable moon phase, the 2023 Geminids are set to be one of the most memorable astronomical events of the year. So mark your calendar, find a dark spot away from the city, and prepare to be dazzled by this natural fireworks display.

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