PHOENIX - With the moon largely out of the picture, we can expect the best meteor shower of the year tonight.

The shower peaks in the late hours of Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. According to, the meteors can be seen as early as 9 or 10 p.m. and will peak around 2 a.m. local time.

Bill Cooke with NASA’s meteoroid environment office said there will likely be up to 120 meteors visible per hour over rural dark skies.

Geminid meteors are bright and fast (79,000 mph), and the shower is famous for producing fireballs, which are meteors brighter than magnitude -4, the same magnitude as the planet Venus.

According to Sky and Telescope, the Geminids are only behind August's Perseids when it comes to fireballs.

Meteor showers don't require binoculars or telescopes to view — just your eyes. Remember to find a dark spot to watch from and allow your eyes to adjust.

The Geminids are named for the constellation Gemini, the point from which the meteors seem to radiate. (Photo: USA Today)

Arizona is in luck. The best viewing conditions in the country will be across the southern and western U.S., where not many clouds are expected.

12 News meteorologist Krystle Henderson said there will be clear skies over the Valley and the Tucson area. If you’re taking advantage of the High Country’s dark skies, you’ll also get a mostly cloud-free view of the show.