Skygazers delight: Triple planet alignment and Geminid Meteor Shower
Jupiter, Saturn and Venus will be aligned in the sky until the end of 2021.
Stargazers are in for a treat as Jupiter, Saturn and Venus align for a unique view in the night sky and the Geminid Meteor Shower peaks, all in the same week.
While the Geminid Meteor Shower doesn't get as much attention as the summertime Perseid Meteor Shower, Michael Shanahan, planetarium director of the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, said it's likely because the Geminids happen during the colder months. Still, if skygazers are willing to brave the cold, the show is worth it.
"You have better chances of getting a really good view of these streaks of light than from most of the regular annual meteor showers," Shanahan said.
The northeast should have a clear sky for Monday night to view the meteor shower's peak.
FORECAST: Geminid meteor shower: Cloudy conditions expected for the western US
Shanahan said you don't need any special equipment to view the shower. Getting away from city lights will help to view the shooting stars, but staying up late for the main event will be the most challenging part.
The prime view will be overnight from Dec. 13 to Dec. 14. The peak happens between 2 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 14.
According to NASA, the moon will be almost 80% full on Dec. 14, which won't be ideal for viewing the shower. However, it will set around 2 a.m. leaving time to view the shower without the moon's brightness.
In addition to the meteor shower, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus will line up as a planetary trio until the end of 2021.
Heading into the weekend, the moon joins the show and rises above the planets.
"Jupiter and Venus are far brighter than any star in the sky, so even for us dazzling urbanites in Jersey City or Manhattan, you can still get a great view of this line up for the next two weeks," Shanahan said.
The planets are the best visible for most of the U.S. from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. by looking to the southwest.