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King of all meteor showers to show off next week

Set those calendars for December 13th and 14th! The king of all meteor showers -- the Geminids -- will peak the night of Thursday the 13th and early morning hours of Friday the 14th. The shower is notorious for featuring upwards of 100+ shooting stars per hour every December. And, the relatively slow speed of the Geminids allows us to see them longer in the night sky. But it doesn't stop there! Geminid meteors ionize the air around them, leaving glowing trails as they streak across the sky. The Geminid meteor shower is also known for producing numerous fireballs at its peak.

Fireballs are essentially very, very bright shooting stars that can sometimes light up the entire sky and ground around you! These are not as common as regular shooting stars, but if you are fortunate enough to catch one, it is an incredible sight.

The moon will be be roughly 35% illuminated Thursday evening, meaning moonlight will likely wash out some of the smaller, not-as-bright meteors. However, the moon sets here in Michiana around 11:15 p.m. Thursday. That means it won't interfere with any meteor viewing after midnight, which happens to be the best time for viewing! The window to see the most shooting stars is between midnight and 5 a.m. local time.

Expected cloud coverage Thursday night.
Of course, none of this really matters if the weather doesn't cooperate. And, at this time, it doesn't look good for us. Forecast models continue to show an area of low pressure impacting the Great Lakes, Midwest and Ohio Valley Wednesday night thru Saturday morning. It will bring a good chance of rain, especially on Friday. More than that, though, is it will bring plenty of clouds from Thursday to Saturday to not only Michiana, but all of Michigan, Indiana and surrounding states like Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.

Expected cloud coverage Friday night.
Unfortunately, much of the cloud cover will be in the form of low clouds. These are your typical stratus clouds that are completely opaque and make it impossible to see the night sky. We all know how the weather acts in this part of the country. It can change drastically from day to day. Thus, don't completely rule out possibly viewing the best meteor shower of 2018 just yet. As the event nears, our team of meteorologists will provide additional forecast updates. 

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