The annual Geminid meteor shower is expected to hit its peak intensity late Monday night and into Tuesday morning, but will Chicago area residents be able to see the show?
According to Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, the meteor shower will peak at approximately 10 p.m., and “under dark and clear skies, several dozen meteors per hour may be seen.”
The question now will be whether cloud-cover could obscure or block the celestial show. According to the NBC 5 Storm Team, there could be scattered thin cirrus clouds in the area Monday night and into Tuesday morning, but those clouds could also clear out before the peak time for meteors, depending on winds aloft and other factors.
Even still, NBC 5 Storm Team meteorologists say that viewers will likely want to watch between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, with the moon setting at approximately 1:44 a.m.
Meteors should be visible in all portions of the sky, according to scientists.
According to NASA, the meteors in the Geminids tend to travel at a slower speed than other meteor showers, making them easier to see on Earth. The meteors are also thought to originate with the asteroid Phaethon, making the Geminids the only meteor shower to have an asteroidal parent body.