The Geminid Meteor shower reaches its peak overnight tonight. This is the year’s most prolific displays of meteors, producing over 100 shooting stars per hour. The thin, waxing Crescent Moon will set early, while the Twins of Gemini are one third of the way up by 9 o’clock, which means the meteors are active all night long.
The view to the southeast is quite impressive by 9:00 PM this evening. Low above the horizon, the Dog stars Procyon on the left and a bit higher, and Sirius much brighter on the right, are featured with Orion above them. Meanwhile, the rusty orange planet Mars teams up with the orange-red star Aldebaran, quite high in the southwest.
Two bright stars are rising in the northeast this evening, known as the Twins, or Gemini. A close look shows they are not identical. As the pair climb higher in to the east-northeast, the whitish-blue Castor appears a little less bright than his mythical brother, Pollux, shining more of a yellowish-orange.