Meteor shower peaks tonight

AIKEN - A lawn chair and binoculars will make for a memorable evening of sky gazing tonight .

The Geminid meteor shower will peak between 10 tonight and 4 a.m. Friday , according to Gary Senn, director of the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center .

"The best thing to do is to lie down and just watch," Mr. Senn said. "It will look like a star is falling out of the sky and little streaks of light going across the sky."

The meteor shower is expected to be one of the best of the year because the moon is in a new phase and its light won't be a factor, Mr. Senn said.

The Geminid meteor shower received its name because it originates in the Gemini constellation. Unlike traditional meteor showers that are particles of comets, this one comes from an asteroid that was once a comet, a rare occurrence, Mr. Senn said.

"What you see is specs of debris in the atmosphere," Mr. Senn said.

The showers can be located starting at the Orion constellation. The Gemini constellation is located just over the right shoulder of Orion the hunter, so look to the left of Orion. The planet Mars, with a reddish-orange color, will also be in the Gemini constellation.

The DuPont Planetarium does not plan to open for viewing, but Mr. Senn recommends viewing outside the city limits.

Weather for the evening is expected to be mostly cloudy with a low of 54 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Reach Julia Sellers at (803) 648-1395, ext. 106, or


What: Geminid meteor shower

When: Shower peaks tonight and Friday morning and will be best viewed outside city limits.

Source: Gary Senn, director, Ruth Patrick Science Education Center