BOSTON (CBS) – Wednesday night is sure to be one of the best astronomical nights of the year with not one, not two, but three cool things to check out in our sky!
International Space Station Flyby
If you’ve never checked out a Space Station flyby before I would highly recommend it!
At 6:17 p.m. the ISS will appear in the west-northwest sky. It will reach a peak of 47 degrees above the horizon and then disappear three minutes later in the west-southwest.
Viewability rating: 7 out of 10. Skies will be partly cloudy, but most should have a decent chance of catching a glimpse.
Geminid Meteor Shower
The highlight of the night and perhaps one of the best sky shows of the entire year!
The annual Geminid meteor shower is typically one of the best meteor shows due to the bright fireballs and sheer number of meteors (potentially more than 100 per hour).
The Geminids come from an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon which astronomers believe underwent a collision with another space object many years ago, creating a trail of debris.
Each December, Earth’s orbit slams right into the debris trail. Typically the best time to view the show is after 10 p.m. tending to peak around 2 a.m. However this year, cloud cover will be much more favorable early in the night.
Viewability rating: 5 out of 10. Skies will be partly cloudy early in the evening with increasing clouds streaming in from the southwest as the night wears on. After midnight skies will become mainly cloudy if not completely overcast in many areas, blocking out the show. The bottom line – try to check it out early and bundle up!
Just Before Dawn
Crescent Moon, Mars and Jupiter
Throwing this one in for some of our viewers in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont as they will have the best chance of some breaks in the cloud cover.
An hour before dawn in the southeast sky the crescent moon will be very close to Mars and Jupiter. In fact, this will be the case for the next several mornings, but Thursday morning is when the Moon will be closest to the planets.
Viewability rating: 2 out of 10. Skies will be overcast in Southern New England and in fact, it will be snowing most areas south of Boston. There is a chance of some breaks in the clouds farther north into New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.
Enjoy the view!
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