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As of the time of writing this question, the meteors should have appeared, but so far I haven't seen any. What time would be the best to view them?

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migrated from Jan 13 '14 at 14:29

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They should be visible any time at night (note that longitude has little to do with observing meteors), but there are many things that could thwart your observing.

  • Bright lights: In a big city you will see far fewer meteors. In a big enough city, you won't see any. On that note, if you keep checking a mobile device with a backlit screen, you probably won't see anything.
  • The Moon: The Moon will unfortunately be up until something like 4 AM local time (assuming I plugged numbers in correctly to the US Naval Observatory's table). Just as with cities, this will cover up smaller meteors. Just try not to stare directly at the Moon lest you lose night vision entirely.
  • Limited view of the sky: The key to watching meteors is to see a large amount of the sky at once. Never use binoculars or a telescope. The idea is to get comfortable by laying down (yes, this is important - people who crane their necks get tired after 20 seconds and then stop looking up!) and just look at as much sky as possible. Your eyes naturally catch and follow movement, so you'll instantly focus on a meteor once it comes into view.

As for where to look, the answer is "everywhere." Meteor showers are named after the radiant - the point in the sky from which the trails seem to originate if you trace them backward far enough. This shower originates in the constellation Gemini, which isn't terribly recognizable, but can be found by locating Orion:

Orion skychart

Move from his belt to his right arm (the one indicated by the very red star Betelgeuse) and keep going until you come across two reasonably bright stars. That is Gemini. It is important to keep in mind, though, that meteors streak across other parts of the sky. Just because they seem to originate from Gemini doesn't mean they're actually visible there. Knowing the radiant just helps with knowing what direction to expect the streak to be going.

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