Clear skies and a new moon could make a slower-moving meteor shower Thursday night spectacular for Long Islanders, at least those willing to stay up for its peak after midnight.
While the annual Geminid Meteor Shower, which peaks on the nights of Dec. 13 and 14, can be seen on both coasts, this year a high-pressure system and ideal weather conditions, make the east coast the place to be when the shower rolls in at around 10 p.m.
The shower is expected to peak at around 2 a.m. potentially bringing more than 100 meteors per hour to the night sky, according to the International Meteor Organization, which calls the Geminids “one of the finest, and probably the most reliable, of the major annual showers presently observable… a splendid stream of often bright, medium-speed meteors.”
Scientists believe the Geminids, unlike most meteor showers which originate from comets (mainly dust and rock), come from an asteroid (mainly metal and rock).
The darkest sky and best view you’ll likely find at the Custer Observatory in Southold, located on Main Bayview Road on the North Fork. The observatory is open from 7 p.m.-midnight.
For those planning to head down to the beaches, remember Super Storm Sandy cleanup is still underway in many areas. On Ocean Parkway where eastbound traffic and westbound traffic have been merged on the westbound side only, high-beam spotlights lighting up the new traffic pattern are also brightening up the usually dark skies.