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Get ready for a light show: Colorful Geminids meteor shower peaks Sunday


Grab some cocoa and a blanket. Experts say the Geminids meteor shower will be one of the biggest meteor shows of the year.

AccuWeather calls it "The King of Meteor showers." NASA says it's the "best" and "most reliable" annual meteor shower, according to ABC News.

Sunday night into Monday morning – at the Geminids' peak – up to 120 meteors per hour are expected to flash across the the sky, NASA told the station.

NASA says the meteors are usually bright enough that people can see the show in color.

How to watch

The space agency says the meteor shower will be visible all across the globe, but ABC reports it will be more visible in the Northern Hemisphere as long as skies are clear.

Unfortunately, AccuWeather said Thursday it could be too cloudy for people in the northern United States to see the show.

But if you'd like to try your luck and go stargazing anyway, the weather source suggests getting away from city lights. While the meteor shower officially starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, AccuWeather says the best time to watch will be around 2 a.m. Monday.

And if you don't have any luck, try again Monday night.

What is it?

The Geminids are named after the Gemini constellation, ABC reports. The source says the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation.

According to NASA, the Geminids are pieces of debris from 3200 Phaethon, which is classified as an extinct comet.

That night, NASA says some of their experts will stay up and answer questions. Just tweet @NASA_Marshall or use hashtag AskNASA.

Other astronomical news

For the first time since 1977, there will be a full moon on Christmas Day, Time reports.  And the magazine says it won't happen again until 2034.

ABC News says the last full moon of the year is called the Full Cold Moon, Full Long Nights Moon or the Moon before Yule because the nights are so cold and long.

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