How to watch the Geminid meteor showers over NJ this week
New Jersey will get a glimpse of the Geminid meteor showers this week. But the brighter-than-normal sky may make it harder to see.
Rutgers University astronomy and physics expert Carlton Pryor says meteor showers occur when the Earth runs into a stream of debris while orbiting around the sun.
"When the little specks of dust enter the earth's atmosphere, faster than a rifle bullet, they get heated quite hot, and we see that brilliant, sort of moving flash of light," he said.
Pryor says they can appear anywhere in the sky.
"You can trace them back to the constellation Gemini."
Unfortunately, another heavenly occurrence, another so-called, "super moon," brighter than normal, will be working against the view of the Geminid showers this week.
He says we always have a competition with our bright skies because of light pollution. And the "super moon" will add to the difficulty.
"Find someplace where you can see a lot of the sky, hopefully facing away from the very bright moon."
Pryor says the best time this week to see the Geminid meteor showers, weather permitting, will be between Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning.
"You just basically want to go out to somewhere where you can see as much of the sky as you can...probably anytime after 10 or 10:30 p.m. It is best in the morning, but it gets cold in the morning, so you can start a little bit early if you want."
You can even make a date night out of it.
"If you happen to have a hot tub, with a good view of the sky, that is a nice place to observe from at this time of year."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5
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