Stargazers who stay up late tonight will see what NASA describes as the best meteor shower of the year. The Geminid meteor shower is comprised of debris from 3200 Phaethon, an extinct comet that was once thought to be an asteroid, The Associated Press reported. When the earth passes through this debris stream, the meteors, or shooting stars, seem to fall from the Gemini constellation.
"Of all the debris streams Earth passes through every year, the Geminids' is by far the most massive," astronomer Bill Cooke said. "When we add up the amount of dust in the Geminid stream, it outweighs other streams by factors of 5 to 500." According to PC Magazine, the 2010 Geminids promises to fill the night sky with 50 to 120 shooting star sightings per hour. Although the shower will be visible from almost any point on Earth until Dec. 16, the best views will be seen in the Northern Hemisphere between midnight and sunrise early Tuesday.