Three meteor showers are predictably good most of the time - the Perseids in mid-August, the Leonids in late November and the Geminids in mid-December. This year's Geminids will occur Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The waxing (growing larger) gibbous (more than half-lit) moon will dim the sky on Monday evening, but it will set a little before 1 a.m. on Tuesday, giving dark skies until near sunrise at 7:17.

During a meteor shower, most of the meteors appear to come from a point in the sky. This point, or "radiant," is in the constellation for which the shower is named. The Geminids appear to radiate from Gemini the Twins, which will be overhead at 1:30 a.m. by the time the moon has set.

However, it's hard to look directly overhead for any length of time.

I find it's most comfortable to look at the sky about halfway up from the horizon. This is easily done while sitting in a favorite lawn chair. You can look in any direction that strikes your fancy, because the meteors will appear to radiate from Gemini going to all parts of the sky.

If you choose to look toward the south for a while, you'll enjoy mighty Orion the Hunter with his faithful hunting dog, Canis Major, following in his footsteps.

This will give you the opportunity to see Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, as well as Canopus, the second-brightest star. Canopus is far to the south and hovers very close to the southern horizon, but it's so bright that it's easily seen from Tucson. Canopus rises at 10:52 p.m. Monday and sets at 3:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Be sure to bundle up, keep warm with tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and enjoy the show.

Contact Tim Hunter at