The earth will be covered with a bright meteor shower

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Spectacular showers of up to 100 shooting stars an hour will light up the skies over Britain later this week - although you'll have to get up early to catch them.

Year to year, meteor showers vary.

As the Earth flies through the debris of a unusual cross between a comet and an asteroid, 3200 Phaethon, material from that object will enter the Earth's atmosphere and put on a light show that peaks Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at around 10:30 p.m. each night.

In most of the parts of the world, one can see the Geminids with naked eyes under dark and clear skies. This year, asteroid 3200 will also fly within 6.4 million miles of Earth, its closest distance since 1974. So last weekend, as this week's Geminid meteor shower was rising to its peak, he had his automatic camera set-up running all night.

"If you're in Seattle or Everett or Tacoma, you may see a few, but you have to set aside the time to look", Ingram said. In 2017, the moon won't be visible at the time of the event, which would make the meteor shower even more unbelievable. It will peak around 2am, when the sky is darkest.

Things do improve in the early hours of the morning which could mean that you have a ideal window within which to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon without getting completely soaked.

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"The thin, waning crescent Moon won't spoil the show", Cooke said.

To increase the chances of seeing meteors, choose a site at least 40 miles from a major city, said.

"The Geminids first appeared in 1862, while 3200 Phaethon, the source of the shower, was discovered as recently as 1983", Brekke said. Gemini is above and to the left, high in the northeastern sky. Don't worry about looking in any specific direction; just lie back, fill your eyes with as much sky as you can, and enjoy the show.

Over time it has become more intense, with up to 20 comets per hour reported in the 1920s, rising to 50 in the 1930s, 60 in the 1940s and 80 in the 1970s.

Folks willing to endure some cold and stay up past their bedtimes are about to be treated to the annual Geminid meteor shower this week, which is expected to one of the best of the year.